Want to stage a musical?
If you are planning to stage a musical, play, opera, ballet or otherwise use copyright music as part of a dramatic presentation, you must first contact the copyright owner to seek their permission. Any theatrical production, concert or event that portrays a story – using dramatic action, scripted narrative, costume or scenery - is regarded as a dramatic presentation.
Your chosen venue for the performance may already have in place a PRS for Music licence for the public performance of copyright works. However this licence will not normally cover the staging of a musical, nor the use of copyright music in any other form of dramatic presentation. The reason for this, put simply, is that the rights owner will not normally have assigned these rights to PRS for Music (and so they cannot be included in the PRS for Music licence). Instead the rights owner (usually the writer or their publisher) will retain these rights and will license such usages in direct negotiation with music users.
Who should I contact?
The Guide to Musical Theatre Website* maintains details of rights owners for the majority of the most popular shows. Once you have established the rights owner, search our member directory [insert appropriate link] for their contact details.
Upon contacting the publisher you may be asked to provide details of the planned performance, including the status of your performers (whether amateur or professional), the capacity of the venue, and whether or not admission will be charged. The publisher will consider the request, and will propose a suitable fee for the licensing of the performance.
For more details on the licensing of dramatic presentations, including a guide to what is and is not normally covered by a PRS for Music licence, please click here*.
*The MPA is not responsible for the content of external websites