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Applying for Performance Rights

If you know the title and author, and are certain that DPS handles the rights, you may use our Nonprofessional or Professional online applications. If you are uncertain whether your theatre is professional or nonprofessional, see the FAQs page for more information on this topic.

If your application is immediately approved, you will receive a license by email. If your application requires review, you will receive a license by regular mail within approximately two weeks.

For individuals and student organizations, full payment of license fees, including for the use of any incidental music, is due two weeks from the date of the license. Failure to pay within two weeks from the date of the license subjects your approval and your production to cancellation.

For all other applicants, full payment of license fees, including for the use of any incidental music, is due two weeks prior to the first performance. Failure to pay a minimum of two weeks prior to the first performance subjects your approval and your production to cancellation.

If you have received a license, you may pay the fees due online using a credit card via our License Fees page. You may also send payment by check, money order or cashiers check. We accept payment in U.S. funds only. Please do not send cash.

If you have any trouble with the online applications or prefer to apply for rights offline, you may download a PDF Nonprofessional Application that can be filled out on your computer or by hand and printed and faxed to us at 212-213-1539 or mailed to:

Dramatists Play Service, Inc.
Nonprofessional Licensing Dept.
440 Park Avenue South
New York, NY 10016

PDF files require the freely available Adobe Acrobat Reader. If not already installed on your computer, Acrobat Reader is available by clicking on the link below.

Please Note:

  1. All DPS plays are protected under International, Federal and Common Law Copyright. Any unauthorized performance or use of these plays may constitute an infringement of the copyright and a violation of the law with potentially serious legal consequences for the infringer.

  2. No play may be produced unless written application is made to and written authorization received from Dramatists Play Service, Inc. All performance rights are granted by written contract only. There is no such thing as “verbal approval.”

  3. Please apply for performance rights well in advance of your planned production dates to ensure the play’s availability. We recommend that you apply three to four months in advance of production. Do not make extensive production plans before receiving written confirmation that rights are available to you.

  4. License fees listed on our website and in our catalogue are not an indication of release for production. Listed fees are for nonprofessional theatres with fewer than 300 seats and are subject to change without notice. Theatres with 300 seats or more will be charged higher licensing fees than those published on our website and in our catalogue. Fees will be based on the seating capacity, ticket price and other factors. Quotes will be provided upon application.

  5. For most applicants, licensing fees must be paid no less than two weeks prior to the first performance. For individuals and student organizations, fees must be paid within two weeks of receipt of a license. Payment may be made by credit card, check, money order or cashier’s check.

  6. Final authorization for production is granted only upon receipt of payment. Authorization, when granted, is subject to the following conditions: (a) The play must be presented only as published in the Dramatists Play Service, Inc. authorized acting edition, without any changes, additions, alterations or deletions to the text and title; (b) these restrictions shall include, without limitation, not altering, updating or amending the time, locales or settings of the play in any way; (c) the gender of the characters may not be changed or altered in any way, e.g., by costume or physical change; (d) the play must be performed with women playing the roles intended for women and men playing the roles intended for men, unless the author has specified flexible casting possibilities; (e) proper authorship, and other credits required by contract, must be given in all programs and advertisements; (f) any special conditions included in the authorization or contract must be met; (g) the title page in all programs must include the following: “[TITLE] is presented by special arrangement with Dramatists Play Service, Inc., New York.” and (h) Dramatists Play Service reserves the right to withdraw a production at any time.