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Licensing – Scripts & Music

How to License Copyright Protected Material

A Note to Producers and Performers:  Play scripts and musicals are composed by writers and musicians.  Their material is intellectual property, and performing it without permission is theft.

Secular Material

This material must be licensed.

Even to adapt it for religious reasons requires permission.  Some script or songwriters permit their work to be adapted for a religious audience, but not all.

To obtain permission to perform a published play or musical, or to check whether a script can be adapted for religious reasons, visit the following agencies that control the rights for the majority of scripts and music compositions to find the play title of interest:

  • ACUM: Licensing for authors, composers, lyricists, poets, arrangers and music publishers in Israel.
  • MTI (Musical Theater International): mainly musical theater scripts/scores.
  • Samuel French: mainly theater scripts
  • BMI: mainly for music, eg performance of cover songs
  • SESAC: mainly for music, eg performance of cover songs
  • ASCAP: mainly for music, eg performance of cover songs

Jewish Material

  • Raise Your Spirits / Bible Arts: Scripts on the stories of Esther, Noah, Ruth & Naomi, Deborah and the Daughters of Tzelofchad.
  • Kol Neshama: Scripts by Robin Garbose including A Light for Greytowers, The Heart That Sings, and Operation Candlelight.
  • ATARA’s Database: see above.

If the title you seek cannot be found through any of these agencies or sites, try to search for the private organization or individual responsible for granting the “rights” to perform the material.

Make sure to have the legal permission needed to perform the material you wish to perform before you begin the artistic process, otherwise you will be in violation of U.S. copyright law, as well as halacha in using what is not yours, falsifying information in your playbill, and ignoring the law of the land.

Thank you for respecting this matter in your artistic work – we wish you only mazal and blessing, and encourage you to invite blessing through honest and ethical conduct.