- Rules and Rates for Producers
- Rules and Rates for Playwrights
So, you want to do a play. Awesome!
What's that? You want to do one of our plays? Fantastic!
Here is all of the legal stuff you need to know before doing one of the plays on this site.
As the title suggests, you can do any of the plays on this site for free, without giving us a single cent, provided that you follow these three rules:
- You don't charge anything for the tickets and give them away for free.
- You don't ask for donations (suggested or otherwise) to see the show or do a “pay-what-you-want” entrance fee.
- You don't require your audience to purchase any non-ticket item.
Basically, if no money is exchanged between you and your audience, as far as seeing the show is concerned, you don't have to pay us anything.
“But, how are we supposed to pay for the production if we don't charge or ask for donations? We've got a set to build, costumes to rent/build, etc.”
Well, you could always sell concessions or merchandise (please read the “Logos and Merchandising” section below). As long as you don't require your audience to purchase anything to see the show, you can sell whatever you'd like.
“No donations?! How can theatre survive without donors?”
Of course, people can donate money to your theatre or theatre company. We're not trying to prevent that. We just want to make sure that, if you require any monetary compensation from your audience, the playwright gets his/her due.
So, you can have your Donors, your Angels, your Partners, or whatever you'd like to call the people who give the theatre or theatre company money to keep going. As long as your production is freely open to the general public without them being guilted into giving you any compensation (and, let's be honest; having a “suggested donation” is basically like charging to see the show for fear of getting the “stink eye”), you do not have to pay us anything to produce or perform it.
“What about participation fees?”
If you are charging your performers to be part of the show (as is done by many theatre companies and children's theatre educational programs), that is no concern of ours. It's a good way to allay the costs of production.
If, by chance, you do want to charge your audience, there is a second option...
If your audience has to pay anything to see your production of one of our plays, whether you're charging for tickets or asking for donations or doing a “pay-what-you-want” entrance fee or requiring your audience pay or purchase anything in any way, you must pay the following royalties:
- Full Plays
- $50 for each of the first six performances
- $25 for each subsequent performance
- One-Act Plays
- $20 for each of the first six performances
- $10 for each subsequent performance
- Full Musicals
- $75 for each of the first six performances
- $35 for each subsequent performance
- One-Act Musicals
- $30 for each of the first six performances
- $15 for each subsequent performance
That's it. The playwright gets his/her due, and you get to do a show. The price doesn't change if your performance space is big or small or touring or school-related or whatever.
THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND:
- Once your production closes, if you decide to “remount” the play anytime proceeding, you must sign a new contract with us pay the $50 for each of the first six performances again.
- If you're doing multiple productions of the same show (e.g. one production has a home theatre while the other is touring), each production will be a separate contract with Let's Do a Play.
- If you do a production at a theatre then decide to tour with that production, it's still on the same contract, and the number of touring performances is just added to the ones you did at the initial performance space.
- Royalty payments for up to the first 3 months of your production are due immediately. Each subsequent month of performances is due 30 days before that month.
- You have a show running for 5 months with performances starting January 15th.
- When you sign up on the site to do the show, you pay for the first 3 months right away.
- On March 16th (30 days before month 4 of performances begin), you pay for the performances that will occur between April 15th and May 15th.
- On April 15th (30 days before month 5 of performances begin), you pay for the performances that will occur between May 15th and June 14th.
So, you've signed up to do a show and paid the royalties, but, for some reason or another, you need to cancel some of the performances. If your show is running for 30 days or less, you will be refunded for the cancelled performances 5 business days after the last performance. If your show is running for longer than 30 days, we section it off into 30 day periods. So, you'll be refunded for any cancelled 5 business days after each 30 day period or 5 business days after your final performance, which ever is first.
If you need to cancel your production entirely (which is incredibly unfortunate but entirely possible), you will be refunded 2 weeks after cancellation. You can "un-cancel" your production at any point during that 2 weeks. After that 2 weeks, you'll need to reapply to do the show on our Do a Play page.
All of our plays come with logos that you can freely use to advertise your production via posters, newsletters, newspaper articles, or online (e.g. emails, web pages, Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, etc.).
You want to make T-shirts or mugs or whatever to commemorate the experience. Great! As long as you give the items away for free or charge the recipient no more than the cost of producing the item (i.e. no profit is being generated/no funds are being raised by the sale the item), you can freely use the logos provided.
If you decide you want to sell merchandise based on any of our plays, using the provided logos, for the purposes of making a profit or raising funds, etc., Let's Do a Play must be compensated 10% of the purchase cost.
- You print up T-shirts, and it costs you $10 per shirt.
- You sell each shirt for $20.
- Let's Do a Play gets $2 (that's 10% of the purchase cost), and you make a profit of $8.
- You don't have to pay Let's Do a Play anything for unsold merchandise.
Be smart about pricing your items.
- You print up T-shirts, and it costs you $10 per shirt.
- You sell each shirt for $11.
- Let's Do a Play gets $1.10 (that's 10% of the purchase cost), and you are out 10 cents.
Price your items accordingly.
Also, you are only allowed to use the logo and produce items with said logo until your production closes. Any use afterward is an infringement of the logo's trademark or must be done with permission of the trademark holder.
Should you decide to create your own custom logo for your production of one of our plays, not using the logos provided, in whole or in part, you are under no obligation to pay Let's Do a Play anything for the sale of merchandise based on your custom logo.
If you have any questions about anything listed here, feel free to Contact Us.
So, you've written a play or hold the rights to a play. Awesome!
You want to distribute your play on Let's Do a Play? Fantastic!
Here is the plain English version of all of the legal stuff above the "I Agree" button on the Write a Play page.
Here’s how the submission process works:
- You create a personal login for yourself to login and do business on our site.
- You write a play or hold the distribution rights to a play. (This can be anything from a short play at least 10 minutes long to a 5-hour behemoth.)
- You submit the play on our “Submissions” page in one of the following file formats: .TXT, .DOC, .DOCX, .PDF, .ODT, .FOUNTAIN, .FDX.
- We review the play to see if it is of the quality necessary for distribution on our site. We are checking for grammar, punctuation, and content. Reasons your play may be rejected:
- Your play has more than two grammatical, spelling, or punctuation errors on each page. We are not your editors. We only want plays ready for publication and distribution. You should have all of that taken care of by the time you submit it to us.
- Your play is racist. Characters can be racist, but the play itself cannot promote, glorify, or condone racism.
- Your play is discriminatory against any religion or race. For example, you can have a play promoting Christianity as long as it doesn’t demean, discriminate against, or belittle any other specific religion. (OKAY: “The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is the one true God.” NOT OKAY: “The Muslims are wrong and are all going to Hell!”)
- We just don’t feel that your play is a good match for our site.
- Once your play has been through the review process, one of two things will happen:
- You will receive a rejection email with one or more of the reasons listed above and will be encouraged to make some changes and submit again or to keep working and submit something else.
- You will receive an acceptance email, congratulating you on your excellent play and telling you the next steps required in the process.
Congratulations! Your play has been deemed to be of the quality required to be displayed and distributed on our site. Now, there are a few things we need you to do:
- If you haven’t already, please complete the payment information for your personal profile on our site so we know where to send any royalties you accrue through the site.
- Submit a logo for your play. (More info on logos below.)
After your logo is approved, we will publish and distribute your play on our site for as long as you let us. You maintain all copyrights and trademarks for your play(s) and logo(s). We’re basically leasing the right to distribute your works.
However, your play must exclusively be distributed on our site. You can have your play removed by request anytime you wish for any reason. (NOTE: Any production of your play that may be running or may be in any state of pre-production or rehearsal must be allowed to run for the length of time stated in the producer’s contract.) While it is on our site, though, it cannot be distributed in any form (physical or digital) outside of this site.
Our goal at Let’s Do a Play is to make it as easy as possible for people to produce your plays. This includes providing them with a logo that’s ready to be used for promotion on posters, websites, emails, social media, play programs, T-shirts, etc.
We require that you provide a scalable logo for this purpose. Your play will not be distributed on our site until you provide us with a logo to our specifications.
If you don’t want (or don’t know how) to create one yourself, we have some graphic designers we can refer you to that will create a logo to our specifications for a reasonable price.
- The logo must be in a scalable, vector format so that it’s just as crisp and clean no matter if it’s super small or billboard-sized. Acceptable file formats: .AI, .EPS, .SVG, OR CDR.
- There must be one monochromatic, scalable version of your logo that includes the play’s title. You can submit a version with multiple colors, a background image, ornamentation, symbology, and any number of spiffy things to make it look fancy, but if you don’t submit a monochromatic version that includes the play’s title, it will be rejected.
Your plays, logos, copyrights, and trademarks belong to you. Let’s Do a Play owns none of it. We’re only leasing distribution rights for said plays and trademarks.
Once accepted, your play will be available for the general public to read in its entirety for free on our site (and our "in-the-works" app). Any revenue generated by advertisements around your play will belong entirely to the site.
While on our site, anyone can produce your play without paying royalties as long as they don’t charge the audience. (If you’re a member of the Dramatists Guild, we also ensure that no creative member, whether director, actor, or production staff, is being paid for the production.) If they do charge the audience, you get 80% of the royalties paid to Let’s Do a Play. (Royalty rates are listed above under the “Charging for Tickets” section of the Rules and Rates for Producers.)
- A group wants to charge for tickets for 10 performances of your play.
- The royalties for the first 6 performances are $50 each ($300 total).
- The royalties for the subsequent 4 performances are $25 each ($100 total).
- Let’s Do a Play is paid a total of $400 in royalties.
- Let’s Do a Play gets 20% of those royalties ($80).
- You (the rights holder of the play) get the other 80% ($320).
This is a great way to get your work out there and, possibly, make a little money on the side. Your name and website are listed next to every page containing your work, as well as a list of places that have produced that specific work through our website, and a list of the other plays you have available through us.
In case any play producers cancel some performances (or their entire production) and need a refund of the royalties they've paid, this is the schedule we'll follow to give you your money:
- If the performances last 30 days or less, we'll send you your money via PayPal 5 business days after the last performance.
- If the show runs longer than 30 days, we'll send your money 5 business days after each 30-day period.
If the producers create and sell merchandise using the logo you provided, once again, you get 80% of the merchandising fees paid to Let’s Do a Play. (Merchandising rates are listed above under the “Logos and Merchandising” section of the Rules and Rates for Producers.)
- The producer prints up 100 T-shirts, and it costs them $10 per shirt.
- They sell 50 shirts for $20 each ($1000 in sales).
- Let's Do a Play charges a merchandising fee of $2 per shirt sold (that's 10% of the total sales), for a total of $100. (We charge nothing for unsold merchandise or merchandise sold at the cost of manufacturing, which, in this example, is $10 per shirt.)
- Let’s Do a Play gets 20% of the merchandising fee ($20).
- You (the owner of the trademarked logo) get the other 80% ($80).
The merch royalties we receive will be held for 7 days. Then, we'll send you your part with-in 5 business days after.
If you, the rights holder, want to allow a special, royalty free performance of your work where people pay for tickets or make donations, etc. (such as for a fundraiser), you are totally allowed to give permission as long as you let us know about it via email (firstname.lastname@example.org). If you don’t tell us, we might end up sending that production a cease and desist for not paying the royalties we believe you’re owed, and that would be embarrassing for everyone. So, please, let us know.
If you have any questions about anything listed here, feel free to Contact Us.