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With Bruce Lazarus of Samuel French

Last week, the Boston Playwright’s Theatre hosted a Publishing/Copyrights workshop with Samuel French Executive Director, Bruce Lazarus. He started off by saying, “This is going to be a lot so just imagine you’re drinking from a fire hose–get what you need.” So friends, here’s what I got, drink up.

  1. Playwrights own their work.
  2. Everyone else profits off of that work.
  3. Put “© Jane Doe 2017 | All rights reserved.” On the title page of your script.
  4. It’s “Copyrighted” not “Copy-written”
  5. Contracts are uber important. Read everything.
  6. If you’re seeking an attorney, seek theatre attorneys not real estate agents…
  7. Dramatist Guild members can receive business counsel through DG’s website.
  8. Playwrights still need agents in today’s world.
  9. Don’t steal songwriter’s music by putting them into your plays without paying for the appropriate rights. If you have a call for specific song cues, pay for the rights.
  10. Dramatist Guild members are invited to receive free tickets with the Playwrights Welcome initiative at participating theaters around the country, for seats that aren’t being sold that night. This includes the Huntington Theatre!
  11. Dramatist Guild members have free access to the new Abbott, play reading app, with Samuel French. “Through Abbott, you can explore today’s best digital catalog of plays and musicals on your mobile device, tablet, or computer…anytime, anywhere. Whether reading for fun, for school, or for the stage – Abbott puts the world’s best scripts at your fingertips.” https://www.samuelfrench.com/abbott
  12. Playwrights should protect the world premiere status of your plays. They can be a developmental productions and workshops until you’re ready for a theatre to claim it as a world premiere. Just be clear about this with your producer from the start.
  13. And finally, every playwright should be their own CEO. Don’t wait around for opportunities to find you, make way for your work and your art.

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