cover art of The Reality Check Issue: A solemn playwright with a long, winding sweater sleeve that has small illustrations detailing the struggles of a writer.
Why Isn't the Guild a Labor Union?
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When a group of illustrious playwrights, including George S. Kaufman, Moss Hart, and Eugene O’Neill, gathered to form the Dramatists Guild over a century ago—the nation's first and only trade association for American theatre writers—they held one ideal paramount: copyright. They believed that authors should maintain the legal rights to their own work. In maintaining their own copyrights, authors could control the creative life of their material. They could choose their own producers, their own directors, and their own casts, and no changes could be lawfully made in production without their explicit consent.

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Doug Wright
Doug Wright

Broadway: Good Night, Oscar (Joseph Jefferson Award for Best Play), I Am My Own Wife (Tony Award, Pulitzer Prize), War Paint, Hands on a Hardbody, The Little Mermaid, and Grey Gardens. Off-Broadway: Posterity (Atlantic); Unwrap Your Candy (Vineyard); Quills (NYTW); Standing on Ceremony (Minetta Lane); Buzzsaw Berkeley (WPA).

Ralph Sevush, Esq.
Ralph Sevush, Esq.

is an entertainment attorney. He’s been with the Dramatists Guild of America since 1997, and their Co-Executive Director and general counsel since June 2005. He is the Treasurer for the Dramatists Legal Defense Fund.