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Q: Licensing a broadway musical? ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   2 Comments )
Subject: Licensing a broadway musical?
Category: Arts and Entertainment > Performing Arts
Asked by: dho1115-ga
List Price: $65.00
Posted: 22 Oct 2006 13:30 PDT
Expires: 21 Nov 2006 12:30 PST
Question ID: 775857
I was talking to a friend of mine who was telling me how he was in his
high-school production of "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor
Dreamcoat" a while back (they were going to do "Phantom of the
Opera"). I found that kind of surprising, since I thought those kinds
of broadway musicals are copywrited and are not allowed to be produced

So, my question (or, actually, questions) are:
> Is it possible to obtain a license to produce a broadway musical.
> How much would the typical licensing fees be (would one have to give
some sort of "royalty" to the producer in addition to licensing fees)?
> What procedures are involved to obtain such a license?
> Are there generally any restrictions on such a license (e.g.:
locations on where the show is played, whether or not taping the show
is permitted)?
> I also understand that certain musicals do not have such licenses
available and can't be produced independently. Is there some sort of
"list" available as to which broadway (or off-broadway) musicals are
available for independent production (e.g.: for high-school,
fund-raiser, or other independent production) and which ones are not
available for independent production?
Subject: Re: Licensing a broadway musical?
Answered By: pinkfreud-ga on 22 Oct 2006 15:16 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
One of the best sources for info on the licensing of Broadway musicals
is the Rodgers & Hammerstein organization. R&H Theatricals handles the
rights for a wide variety of musicals -- including, of course, those
written by Rodgers & Hammerstein, but also many others, including
Andrew Lloyd Webber's "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat."
Fees vary, depending upon the specific title chosen and the licensee's
circumstances (size of auditorium, number of performances, ticket
prices, etc.)

You'll find an application for an amateur performance license here:

R&H Theatricals: Amateur Performance License Application

A list of the titles licensed by R&H:

R&H Theatricals: Titles

Frequently Asked Questions about licensing and the fee structure:

R&H Theatricals: FAQs

Info about R&H's performance licensing & fees:

R&H Theatricals: About Us


Music Theatre International (MTI) is another such firm. Its titles:

Music Theatre International: Browse Shows

Licensing info for MTI:

Music Theatre International: Licensing


Samuel French, Inc. handles quite a few musicals:

Samuel French, Inc.: Musicals

General info on royalty fees and rights from Samuel French: 

Samuel French, Inc.: Royalties & Rights Information


Baker's Plays, a division of Samuel French, also licenses musicals. A
list of titles:

Baker's Plays: Musicals

Royalties & rights info for Baker's Plays:

Baker's Plays: Royalties & Rights Information


Tams-Witmark Music Library, Inc. 

Tams-Witmark Music Library, Inc.: Musicals

Contact form for Tams-Witmark:

Tams-Witmark Music Library, Inc.: Contact


Dramatists Play Service, Inc.

Dramatists Play Service, Inc.: Musicals

Licensing info (nonprofessional):

Dramatists Play Service, Inc.: Nonprofessional Licensing


Dramatic Publishing Company

Dramatic Publishing Company: Musicals

Licensing info:

Dramatic Publishing Company: Licensing


Pioneer Drama Service

Pioneer Drama Service: Musicals


Pioneer Drama Service: Frequently Asked Questions


Here's some good general information on licensing of musicals and plays:

"The rights for most plays and musicals are held by play publishing
houses. To obtain the rights to produce a play or musical, complete
the following steps:

1. Determine which play publishing house has the rights to the play
you wish to produce. Each company has a catalogue which will indicate
a royalty fee. However, be aware that the fee for your particular
organization may differ.

2. You should call the company to find out if the play is available
for production. In some instances, plays are 'restricted' which means
that a particular play/musical is not available for production. Never
assume that a play is available, you should always check with the play
publishing house before you advertise or begin work on the production.

3. Once you have determined that the play is not restricted, you will
need to contact the publishing house in writing. Generally the
following information is needed in order to provide a royalty quote:
a. Play Title
b. Place of performance (City, State & Theatre)?
c. Producing organization? 
d. Seating capacity?
e. Ticket prices?
f. Not-for-profit or for-profit group?
g. Number of performances?
h. Performance dates?
i. Equity (Actor?s Union) or non-Equity production?" 

University of Texas: Obtaining Rights to Produce a Play or Musical


My Google search strategy:

Google Web Search: musical plays licensing OR royalties

Google Web Search: broadway musicals "licensing organizations"

Google Web Search: "joseph and the amazing technicolor dreamcoat" royalty fee


I hope this is helpful! If anything is unclear or incomplete, or if a
link doesn't work for you, please request clarification; I'll be glad
to offer further assistance before you rate my answer.

Best regards,
dho1115-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $8.50
Excellent answer! Thanks for the resources. I just wonder, if you
license a play or a musical, will they also supply you with the sets
and props for the play and help you with the marketing, or do you have
to go buy or make them yourself and do the marketing yourself (but, I
suppose I could ask the publishers about that).

Subject: Re: Licensing a broadway musical?
From: philnj-ga on 23 Oct 2006 13:14 PDT
Aside from paying the royalty fee, there are often other strings
attached.  These conditiona vary with the production and the licensing
organization.  Pay very careful attention to all the restictions and
requirements, regardless of how arbitrary they may seem.
Subject: Re: Licensing a broadway musical?
From: pinkfreud-ga on 31 Oct 2006 10:15 PST
Thank you very much for the five stars and the nice tip!

Regarding the matter of sets, props, and marketing, I doubt that
you'll be able to get much help with these from any of the companies
listed above. The licensing of theatrical rights is a specialized sort
of business, and the firms that do this kind of thing are usually not
set up to serve as set designers or marketing agencies. But it won't
hurt to ask.


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