APPLYING FOR PERFORMANCE LICENSES
Is our theatre considered "professional" or "nonprofessional"?
Generally, if the majority of actors are being paid more than $150, whether they are Equity or non-, we are likely to consider your production professional. If you are unsure
about your specific theater or productionís categorization, fill out the nonprofessional
and we will review it and make a determination.
What does "restricted" mean?
Every play in the DPS catalogue has the potential of being restricted ó even those plays that haven't been produced in your area for years. Unfortunately, it is almost impossible
to foresee specific restrictions. Some restrictions are set in place at the request of the author, some are set by producers of potential Broadway revivals, some are set by professional theaters
within a certain mileage radius of your group.
If you would like to check on restrictions for an individual title in your area, you are welcome to call the Play Service. However, just because play is "unrestricted" over the phone does not
guarantee that rights are available for your specific production. The only way to receive approval for a production is by submitting an application in writing. We highly suggest that you apply for a
license as soon as you become interested in a play, and that you wait to receive written approval from us before spending any time or money on mounting your production.
Do restrictions apply to high schools, colleges and community theatres?
While you may believe your amateur production poses no threat to any other production, DPS sets restrictions based on the request of outside parties, many of whom pay much,
much higher royalty fees for the privilege of rights exclusivity. Restrictions are never set arbitrarily and we donít enjoy denying applications, but there are times when performance rights for
a title are simply not available to your group.
How long does it take to get permission?
It depends on which play you are applying for and where you're located. Many applications will receive immediate licenses by email. However, your application may require
individual review. For all applications that require review, you will receive an answer within 2-4 weeks, either approving or denying your request. To ensure fastest service, please submit your
application online using our Nonprofessional
applications. (See above for how to determine whether your theater is professional
I'm located in New York/Los Angeles, will it take longer to get permission?
All productions in New York and Los Angeles must be cleared between the Play Service and the author or their representative, so any applications submitted in these cities will
require at least 2-4 weeks for approval. As always, please bear in mind that your request for rights may be denied. Other major theatrical cities like Chicago, Seattle or San Francisco may also
require additional clearance.
Can I apply for permission over the phone?
No, we must receive your application in writing via the forms on our website. None of our plays may be produced without our written authorization being sent to you in return.
I'm an actor. Do I need to apply for permission to use a monologue or scene for an audition?
A closed audition is not a public performance, and as such you do not need to apply for a performance license. Permission must be secured and royalty fees paid for the use
of monologues and scenes in all public performances, regardless of whether admission is charged. Public performances include student competitions, talent shows, and other "variety" or
excerpted-work performances. If you have questions about performance rights, send your inquiry to firstname.lastname@example.org
How do I cancel some or all of the performances on my license?
Can I get a refund if Iíve already paid for the rights?
If you cancel any performances you must notify us in writing via the
Request Cancellation of Licensed Performances
page on our website. You must state the reason for the cancellation.
Refund Policy for Nonprofessional Licensing:
(a) If you submit your cancellation request before the first performance, a full refund will be processed.
(b) If you submit your cancellation request after the first performance, but within 14 days after the last performance, a $25 cancellation fee will be applied.
(c) If you submit your cancellation request later than 14 days after the last performance, your licensing fees will not be refunded.
Refunds will be processed in the same form as the original payment.
PRODUCING AND PERFORMING DPS PLAYS
Can I make changes, alterations, or deletions to a DPS play I'm presenting?
All DPS plays are protected by federal copyright law, which prohibits anyone from making ANY unauthorized changes to a script and from producing
the play without obtaining permission.
May we cut bad language?
Not without written permission. If you would like to cut certain words or language from a play, you must contact us in writing with a proposal of the specific changes
requested. We will do our best to respond to your request in a timely manner, but permission is never guaranteed. You must wait to receive a response from us before moving forward with any
Not enough men tried out for my production. May I cast this role as a woman?
The short answer is no. If you want to pursue alternative-gender casting, you must contact us with your specific proposed change and wait for written permission before
moving forward. Depending on the importance and size of the part (yes, there are small parts) some authors may not mind a gender change as long as the lines are not changed. But these
allowances are the exception rather than the rule.
We often get requests from groups that want to produce all-male productions or all-female productions of
popular plays. Such productions are almost never approved and illegal productions have been quickly shut down. Again, you must always ask for and receive written permission to make any
changes to the script, including genders of characters. Playing characters in drag does constitute alternative-gender casting and is not allowed without explicit permission.
Is it okay to cut a character and give the lines to other actors?
No. In rare cases an author may allow a high school or similar group to do this with minor characters. And, as always, you must always ask and receive written permission
before you can make any such changes.
The show is running too long. Is it all right to make a few cuts?
If the running time of a show is important to you, you are urged to choose a shorter play. You may not make any cuts to shorten the running time.
May I change or edit the title?
No. This is expressly not allowed.
Can I rearrange scenes, without changing anything in them?
This would constitute an alteration to the text, which is illegal and absolutely forbidden without the written permission of the Play Service.
Are producers/directors required to replicate the stage directions?
Stage directions are hard guidelines rather than strict rules. A certain amount of flexibility is allowed because theatres and set designs vary from production to production.
It may not be possible, for instance, for a character to enter stage left, even if that's indicated by a stage direction, if the physical limitations of space or design prevent it.
Any stage directions that are crucial to the plot of the play or illustrate something about a character should certainly be followed.
If anything is unclear, you are welcome to contact us and ask questions. Any unauthorized changes might run the risk of infringing on the
author's text and constitute a violation of copyright law, subject to penalty.
USING DPS ACTING EDITIONS
May I make a copy of the play for the actors at my theatre?
No. It is a violation of copyright law to make copies of a playwrightís work without their permission. You must purchase any scripts that are needed. Of course, if
actors already own scripts, you do not need to purchase new scripts for a production.
May I make an oversized copy for the stage manager's prompt book?
As long as the original Acting Edition has been purchased, a single oversized photocopy intended for the use of stage managers or directors work is acceptable.
May I copy a play and distribute it to my class for study purposes?
Under the provision of "fair use" copyright law does allow for some limited photocopying strictly for use in educational settings. You cannot photocopy an entire
play and hand it out to your students, but copying a short section of a play for teaching use only is permissible. We recommend that you read up on copyright law for further clarification
on the parameters of this before proceeding.
May we use the synopsis and press quotes from the back cover of the Acting Edition in our theaterís promotional material?
Yes. If you have been granted a license for performance, you may use the synopsis and press quotes from the Acting Edition for promotional purposes in conjunction with
your production. Promotional purposes include in press releases, posters, window cards, postcards, flyers, website ads, etc.
Any other use of text from DPS Acting Editions, catalogues, newsletters and the website requires express written permission in advance from
the Play Service. Send your request to email@example.com
Can I get a desk copy for my upcoming class?
Dramatists Play Service offers complimentary desk copies only when the classroom texts/student copies are purchased directly from DPS. Desk copies are limited to
1 complimentary book for every 15 books purchased. You must order a minimum of 15 copies to qualify.
For desk copy requests, email customer service at firstname.lastname@example.org. You must include your purchase order number or your DPS
Invoice Number (SO_XXXXXXXXXXX) in your email.
I saw this play and I remember it being different. Is there a revised edition?
Many DPS revised editions clearly indicate "Revised Edition" on the cover. However, there may very well be revised editions of DPS plays that are not advertized as such.
This is always per the authorís request. The edition that DPS licenses and sells is the only version available for performance. If there has been a revised edition, whether clearly indicated
or not, the original/other versions are not available for purchase or production.
DPS cannot advise as to why, when, or where other versions of our plays have been performed. If you suspect that a theater is performing an unofficial or alternative version of a DPS play,
please notify our licensing department at email@example.com or 212-683-8960.
Iím looking for a specific monologue that isnít in the Acting Edition I purchased. Where can I find the version I'm looking for?
Playwrights often change their scripts during or after major productions, or for movie adaptations. The published Acting Edition is the only version that
has been approved by the author for public performance. DPS cannot advise as to the contents of alternative versions, and no other version is permitted to be performed.
Can DPS grant me reprint rights?
DPS cannot grant reprint rights for any of our Acting Editions. If you would like to reprint all or a portion of any of our Acting Editions, please contact the authorís
agent. This contact information can be found on the Acting Editionís copyright page, under the paragraph beginning "Inquiries concerning all other rights should be directed toÖ" or similar.
In rare occasions, Dramatists Play Service will be listed as the agent. For reprint rights to these books, please email
firstname.lastname@example.org with the following information: Title and author of the new volume; the purpose of the reprint; publisher of the volume; whether the
volume will be published in hardback, paperback, or e-book; initial print run; list price; and territory of distribution (e.g. single-college only, North America, worldwide, etc.).
Can I return my order?
Our return policy is no returns. All sales are final. For quality issues including misprinted books or items damaged in transit, contact customer service at
How do I submit a play or musical for publication?
Please do not send scripts. Submissions of a full script will not be considered.
Send an inquiry via email with a one-page synopsis, a production history, and any reviews to Charlotte Dow, Assistant to the President, at
email@example.com. All inquiries must be submitted electronically. We do not accept paper submissions.
There are no exceptions to this policy. Paper submissions will be discarded without a response.
If we are interested, we will contact you for a full script within six months. Please bear in mind that the Play Service generally acquires plays after successful productions in New York
City, London or at a major regional theatre. If your show has not yet been produced in a notable venue, you might be better served to put your time and energy into pursuing a production.
My daughter is playing Maggie in CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF. May I videotape this for our family memorabilia?
DPS cannot give permission to film any part of our plays. Questions about videotaping a performance should be directed to the author's agent. The name and address
of the agent can generally be found on the copyright page of all of our acting editions. See the paragraph that begins: "All other inquiries..."
Our theatre would like to make a videotape for our archives/grant proposal. Is this all right?
Again, DPS cannot give permission to film any part of our plays. Please contact the authorís agent at the address listed on the copyright page of the Acting Edition.
A local video producer wants to film my production and sell tapes in our lobby.
This is absolutely not allowed. Theatres that have engaged in or tolerated this activity have faced serious legal repercussions.
I am a college student. Can I get permission to make a film of a play?
Please contact the author's agent by writing to them at the address listed on the copyright page of the acting edition.
READING DPS EPLAYS ON YOUR COMPUTER
Is it easy to read ePlays on my computer?
Yes! But because DPS ePlays are copyright protected, you must have the freely available software, Adobe Digital Editions (not to be confused with Adobe Reader) installed
on your computer, and you must create a free Adobe account.
Step One: If you do not already have an Adobe Account, visit Adobe Membership and create one.
This will provide you with your Adobe ID and password.
Step Two: Install your free software from the Adobe Digital Editions
website before purchasing your ePlay. Make sure to keep "Associate .acsm and .epub file types" selected. Note: Adobe Digital Editions 4 may not be compatible with
older versions of Windows, if you are NOT using Windows 7 or later, please download Adobe Digital Editions 3.
Step Three: Authorize Adobe Digital Editions with your Adobe ID.
Step Four: Purchase your ePlay and click the "Download ePlay" button next to the title on your Order Confirmation page.
How do I download an ePlay?
Purchase your ePlay(s) from the DPS website
by adding the ePlay(s) to
your cart and completing the checkout process. AFTER you submit your order, you will see a download ePlay button next to each title on the Order Confirmation page.
Click the "Download ePlay" button to receive your URLLink.acsm download link file.
Click the URLLink.acsm file to download and open your ePlay in Adobe Digital Editions. If you do not see the URLLink.acsm file at the bottom
of your screen, check your Downloads folder.
If you close your Order Confirmation page before downloading your ePlay(s), just open your DPS Order Confirmation in your email inbox and click the download link next to the ePlay title.
Can I download my ePlay whenever I choose?
Download links (.acsm files) will only remain valid for fourteen days from date of purchase. Download your eplay as soon as you place your order, and save the
file to your computer.
To transfer ePlays to your eReader, Android tablet, smartphone or iOS device, see the appropriate sections.
How do I view my ePlay on an Android tablet/smartphone or iOS device (iPad/iPhone)?
How do I view my ePlay on my Nook or other dedicated eReader device?
ePlays can be viewed on B&N Nook/Kobo eReader/Sony Reader and other dedicated reading devices. Please see the Adobe Digital Editions page for their list of
Step One: Close Adobe Digital Editions and connect your device to the computer.
Step Two: Open Adobe Digital Editions. Your device will appear on the left side of the screen within Adobe Digital Editions.
Step Three: Drag the ePlay to the icon of your eReader device on the left to copy it to the eReader.
Step Four: Eject the eReader from your computer and unplug the cable. Your ePlay should now appear on your eReader device.
How do I view my ePlay on my Kindle?
DPS ePlays are currently available in the widely suported ePub format. The ePub format is not supported by the Amazon Kindle, although all other devices do support it.
Can I use Adobe Acrobat or Reader to view my ePlay?
No, Adobe Acrobat/Reader cannot read copyrighted electronic publication files. They can only be read with Adobe Digital Editions.
I downloaded my ePlay but lost it/accidentally deleted it, can you send me a new link to download the ePlay again?
No. Once downloaded to your device(s), and associated with your Adobe ID, DPS retains no control and imposes no restrictions (other than prohibiting printing) on
the use of your ePlay. You are free to backup and transfer your DPS ePlays to multiple devices. We recommend storing backups of your DPS ePlays on a flash drive for safekeeping.
USING THE DPS WEBSITE
Why isn't there an account login on your website?
Your experience with our website is very important to us, as is keeping your personal information safe. To that end we have streamlined our Checkout, Payment and Rights Applications pages to provide a quick and secure transaction without the unnecessary requirement of creating an online account.
I donít know my DPS account number, but it asks for it on the licensing application/order form.
It is not necessary to fill in a DPS Account Number to submit an online order or an online application unless you choose DPS Account as your payment method. If you need
the DPS account number for your purchase order, for payment, or any other reason, please contact Customer Service at 212-683-8960.
I added some plays to my shopping cart but the cart shows as empty?
The shopping cart is session specific and times out after four hours (240 minutes). This means that if you close your browser or attempt to leave items in your cart
for more than four hours, the cart will automatically empty. These limitations help to ensure your security and privacy. If the cart is showing as empty and four hours has not elapsed,
please email firstname.lastname@example.org
. You may also place your order over the phone with a credit card, at 212-683-8960.
This thing on the website isnít working. What do I do?
Most errors on the site are caused by the use of out-of-date browsers, and upgrading to the
latest version of your favorite browser should eliminate the majority of problems you may encounter. If you continue to have difficulties, please send an e-mail to
and be as specific as possible about the errors you're having. We'll do our best to address any issues as quickly as possible.