Open Forum

Publishing Companies- Next Season

  • 1.  Publishing Companies- Next Season

    Posted 04-04-2020 18:08
    Hi Folks- 

    Is anyone thinking at all about next season?  I usually procure rights before my end of the year awards ceremony so I can announce the shows to my students.  I haven't started thinking about trying to get rights for next year, since I haven't even heard back about changing the date of a Spring Show, I'm having to postpone due to the pandemic.  
    I've also heard rumblings of another wave of COVID-19 coming in the fall and I wonder if I should even commit to dates right now.  Has anyone had any luck with the publishing companies at this point?  Are any other hopefuls ready to start planning?  Or should I just hold off?
    I'm hoping to announce the shows I'm intending to direct on May 9.  So I'd only have a month to get everything submitted and paid in full... I just don't know about dates yet.

    Brooke Phillips
    Teacher/Director of Theatre
    Millard West High School
    Co Chapter Director-Nebraska Thespians

  • 2.  RE: Publishing Companies- Next Season

    Posted 04-05-2020 08:50
    Yes same boat!  We're hoping to do our Spring musical in early August but I too want to set and secure Fall - with added problem that I'm not sure I can access my finance department. Wondering if the companies will work with that!

    Karen Chandler
    Theatre Instructor
    Beverly Hills Unified School District

  • 3.  RE: Publishing Companies- Next Season

    Posted 04-05-2020 12:06
    Why not go ahead with your plans announce a tentative season and when everything gets back to normal go ahead. If you can't get a certain show at that point, remember you said tentative, and change to something else. Have a couple of back up shows waiting in the wings.

    Don't stress, just keep moving forward.

    Break a leg and may all your theatre seats be filled.

    Kelly Thomas

    Poteet High School

    Mesquite, Texas

  • 4.  RE: Publishing Companies- Next Season

    Posted 04-05-2020 13:17
    I’m starting to ponder next year, too. I also announce at our late May Thespian Induction so I’m trying to figure out how to hold that virtually (if our state doesn’t go back as planned) and determine a flexible season, just in case. Lots of great shows that have a large cast with many micro plays or short scenes that can be rehearsed separately then put together when it’s time. I think having a tentative season is our best bet at this point. I’m hoping we’ll have more clarity before late May. I suspect the publishers will be flexible too.

    Jo Strom Lane
    Theatre Teacher and Director
    Roosevelt High School
    Portland Public Schools
    Portland OR

  • 5.  RE: Publishing Companies- Next Season

    Posted 04-05-2020 19:33
    As frustrating as it can be dealing with the ins and outs of our friends in the publishing/licensing end of things.  I am planning on being as flexible as it takes to get it done - well wishes and prayers go out to my fellow troupe leaders trying to manage things!  You'll figure it out!!!

    I am also keeping those publishing/licensing companies and their employees in my prayers.  They are looking at the bleakest single moment since we started having licensing at all.  The business models of the last 100 years or so have just been turned on their ear.   FOr anyone working on that end of things that might be reading this...  Let everybody know that we are rooting for you!

    [Drama] [Dan] []
    [Drama Teacher/Director]
    [Dublin Coffman HS]
    [Dublin] [Ohio]

  • 6.  RE: Publishing Companies- Next Season

    Posted 04-05-2020 19:51
    Thanks all!  I know it is important to procure and pay for rights before you announce a season.  My students are really looking forward to hearing about the future, to get their minds off of the present.  I will just reach out to the publishing companies and see what happens.  I don't want to bother them with this season, when they ARE probably so behind making adjustments on this current season.
    Just don't want to add to the stress of things, and what to give my students what they need.  I think I'll request the rights I'm interested in, and see if they can be flexible for me to announce early if my business office isn't open for payment.

    Brooke Phillips
    Teacher/Director of Theatre
    Millard West High School
    Co Chapter Director-Nebraska Thespians

  • 7.  RE: Publishing Companies- Next Season

    Posted 04-28-2020 21:35
    Thanks, Daniel!  Your thoughts for us in New York and the play publishing world are very appreciated.

    Craig Pospisil from Dramatists Play Service here.  Yes, the licensing business is really turned upside down right now, but we're here and trying to work hard to help all the schools and theaters that have to scramble to change plans, postpone, reschedule, cancel . . . and get video streaming rights in a lot of cases too.​

    So please come to us with any questions.  There's a lot happening and no one knows what's coming up, but we're here to work with you on this.


    Craig Pospisil
    New York NY

  • 8.  RE: Publishing Companies- Next Season

    Posted 04-05-2020 17:05
    I already had my rights in place for our 2021 spring show before we went into spring break (yes... I'm that person) and was waiting on finishing the paperwork for our fall show until after spring break (the show I planned to do is now being scrapped for next fall). I will be producing a musical in fall since our production of Cinderella was cancelled for this spring. I've chosen the show I want to do to replace Cinderella and have put in the request for the license. It's been about a week and I haven't gotten the contract info yet, but I expected it to take longer right now. I don't like waiting to try to get my shows locked down. I'd rather risk postponing the show next fall (and we do ours in October so there is time. I could move it back in the 1st semester if necessary), but feel like it's not going to be any easier or faster to get the paperwork completed if I wait. All the companies will still be dealing with the additional paperwork that comes from the postponements and cancellations.

    I've let me students know that I do not yet have a date for the season announcement. I'll announce after I have all the rights and this does mean that they will have to wait longer to find out about next year's shows. Our planned Induction, Honors and Awards Night (which includes the season announcement) was supposed to me April 14th. I'm hoping to announce in May but we'll see. You also want to be careful about announcing perspective shows. I know at least some companies have language in the contract saying that you won't announce the show until the license is granted.

    Shira Schwartz
    Chandler Unified School District
    Chandler AZ

  • 9.  RE: Publishing Companies- Next Season

    Posted 04-06-2020 00:01
    Thank you so much for your kind words! We're looking forward to helping you and your students produce incredible theatre in the future. I've been lucky enough to spend time in several high school Zoom rehearsals over the last few weeks, and watching students continue to work and problem solve during this difficult time has been unbelievably inspiring.

    The Concord Theatricals licensing team is continuing to process incoming applications as usual (though remotely, like many companies right now). If you have questions about a specific title, application status, or payment process, please email us at so we can assist you. It may take us a few days to respond due to the volume of inquiries, but we'll certainly reply as soon as we're able!

    If you are considering a specific title for next season, we recommend going ahead and submitting an application through our website so we can determine availability. Applying won't lock you into paying for the production, and we can easily change performance details later as things evolve. It's always best to submit as far in advance as possible, just to give time for the necessary clearances and processing. We love a fabulous season announcement, and want to make sure things are ready to go!

    Thank you again for all you're doing to inspire your students during this time.

    Rosemary Bucher
    Educational Theatre Licensing Coordinator
    Concord Theatricals
    New York, NY

  • 10.  RE: Publishing Companies- Next Season

    Posted 04-06-2020 00:31
    Thanks so much Rosemary!  That's what I needed to hear!  Stay safe and well!

    Brooke Phillips
    Omaha NE

  • 11.  RE: Publishing Companies- Next Season

    Posted 04-06-2020 10:02
    Edited by Ivy Neufeld 04-29-2020 10:15
    Thank you everyone for your kind words. I hope you are all hanging in there!

    I would recommend to apply for rights for any shows that you are interested in performing next school year. If you normally apply for your Fall 2020 or even Spring 2021 show right now, go ahead. Even if you only have tentative dates, that is completely fine; for most titles, the dates can be changed later on easily. Most applications will be automatically approved; some applications for restricted titles may have to be reviewed by our licensing department to check for availability in your geographical area.

    Dramatic Publishing does not require royalty fees to be paid until 15 days after the final performance.

    If you have any further questions, please contact us by phone at (800) 448-7469 or by email at We would love to hear from you!

    Ivy Neufeld
    Dramatic Publishing Company
    311 Washington Street
    Woodstock, IL 60098

  • 12.  RE: Publishing Companies- Next Season

    Posted 04-06-2020 13:32
    Hello from TRW.
    Thanks for your considerate thoughts during these stressful times.
    We're beginning our 4th week working remotely and are holding to our usual 2-day turnaround for processing most license applications. The exception are those shows requiring extra 'clearance' (nearby tours and/or professional productions).
    Once processed, our License Agreement is valid for 90 days. If your Finance folks can't issue a PO (which is common for year-end because it's in next year's budget), TRW will accept the executed document (don't snail-mail, please, until our brick & mortar reopens!) with a 'letter of guarantee.' Simply have your principal write (on school letterhead) a one sentence statement that your [school name] production of [name of] show totaling [the total from your Agreement] will be paid in full with a PO issued approximately ['month' or 'by end of summer' or whatever is best guesstimate]. 
    Either fax the Agreement or email as an attachment, please. An executed Agreement with a letter of guarantee as a temporary substitute for a PO allows you to proceed with announcement --- and we'll send our comp logopack too. 
    However, no rehearsal materials will be provided until the PO is issued by your Finance team.
    If you have questions, please address them to:
    Stay safe & healthy!

    Michael McDonough
    TRW Asst VP Amateur Licensing
    New York

  • 13.  RE: Publishing Companies- Next Season

    Posted 04-06-2020 13:39
    Thank you all SO much for chiming in.  I appreciate it so much.  Be well!

    Brooke Phillips
    Omaha NE

  • 14.  RE: Publishing Companies- Next Season

    Posted 04-07-2020 09:16

    Thanks to everyone who has posted here. I know that everyone in the theatrical licensing community is working their hardest to adjust to needs of schools.  

    For the vast majority of titles in the Playscripts catalog (roughly 90%), you can apply and receive an instant licensing agreement for next season's productions. By selecting an offline payment, such as check or PO, you will be able to complete your order and access your licensing agreement in a matter of minutes. Even if you do not have a PO that you are ready to send to us, you can still access your licensing agreement and announce your show as soon as you wish. For the select few titles in the Playscripts catalog that are restricted, you can still apply now and we will respond as soon as possible. Even with most restricted titles, you will not have to provide a PO prior to announcing.

    For titles in the Broadway Licensing catalog, you can apply at any time. For this catalog, you will need to provide a PO prior to announcing. However, for the time being, we are also accepting any official communication from your school or district if a PO cannot be obtained. This will allow you to announce.

    In the event that plans change and you are unable to present your show on stage, we are working with a growing list of authors from both catalogs to be able to offer alternative, virtual performances. In the coming days, we will also be launching a new collection of titles written specifically to be performed on platforms such as Zoom.

    If you have any questions, we are always reachable at and

    Brendan Conheady
    Vice President of Operations
    Playscripts/Broadway Licensing

    Brendan Conheady
    Vice President of Operations
    New York NY

  • 15.  RE: Publishing Companies- Next Season

    Posted 04-08-2020 19:26
    First off, thanks to all for the kind thoughts. It's a difficult time for everyone.

    At YouthPLAYS we are super flexible. If a title is restricted--and it's VERY rare--it will be listed on that play's page. Otherwise, you should feel confident in announcing.

    Orders can be placed online, and performance dates can always be changed anytime before the originally scheduled date. And if the new date turns out not to work, feel free to change it yet again. We've had some people reschedule two or three times. Also, almost all of our catalogue can be live-streamed right now. On our website, the front page will direct you to a growing list.

    If you'd typically use a PO and can't access that right now, just email us at with the details and we'll help you work it out. Just like TRW, we're happy to accept a letter from an admin until you can get a proper PO.

    In short, don't panic. We'll find a solution. Stay safe and well.


    Jonathan Dorf
    Playwright/ Co-founder of YouthPLAYS/ Chair of The Alliance Of Los Angeles Playwrights
    Los Angeles CA

  • 16.  RE: Publishing Companies- Next Season

    Posted 04-28-2020 19:38
    We are currently accepting applications for productions in Fall/Winter 2020 and all of 2021. You can complete the application on our website at

    With the expanding health crisis surrounding the Coronavirus (COVID-19), we understand if you might need to cancel or postpone performances to keep your staff, your student actors, and your audiences healthy and safe. Stage Rights will do everything we can to help you navigate rescheduling or postponing performances. There will be no fees for any cancellations, and we'll do our best to help you reschedule productions as needed. We are working to provide information on live streaming options for your productions as well.

    If you have any questions, please contact me at

    Stay safe.

    Melody Fernandez
    Director of Licensing
    Stage Rights
    Los Angeles CA

  • 17.  RE: Publishing Companies- Next Season

    Posted 05-16-2020 13:26
    Edited by Ginny Butsch 05-18-2020 09:14
    @Brooke Phillips

    I just made my list of shows to research beginning Memorial Day weekend when I start sitting outside. Our Spring Show has not taken place; we were 2 weeks out from our Show Date when NJ got the stay-at-home order. We are hoping for July, August, or the fall. If we can’t get on the stage before the first week on November then we’ll do 2 intense weeks of Zoom rehearsals which will be really reblocking for Zoom & heavy Zoom Tech. Then auditions begin in November for the next show. If I wait until this Show is over, I’ll never be ready. I’ll have to have 2 lists this year, the 2nd Will be shoes that will be easier to do on Zoom, those with monologues & solos.

    Maria Stadtmueller
    St. Augustine School
    Kendall Park, NJ

    Sent from my iPhone

  • 18.  RE: Publishing Companies- Next Season

    Posted 05-17-2020 20:48

    Just to let you know we have approached a number of our authors about writing some new one-acts and short plays specifically to be performed via Zoom or a similar platform.  We're getting the first plays in now, and hope to have an announcement with a list of them very soon.


    Craig Pospisil

    Director of Nonprofessional Licensing


    440 Park Avenue South

    New York, NY  10016


    Tel: 212-683-8960