Public Theater and Dramatists Guild Reach New Royalty Agreement

News   Public Theater and Dramatists Guild Reach New Royalty Agreement
The Public Theater and the Dramatists Guild have reached a new agreement on subsidiary rights, which will allow playwrights to keep a larger portion of the royalties generated by their work.

Under the new agreement, which is effective immediately, the Public will not collect any subsidiary royalties from a production until the playwright has earned a minimum of $75,000 in licensing fees. If a work does not generate the sum within ten years, the agreement will expire and the Public loses it stake in any future subsidiary rights.

The new agreement is retroactive through all productions presented on the Public main stage through 2008. The two organizations have been in discussions detailing subsidiary rights for over a year. The Public declined to comment on the terms of their previous producing agreement.

Typically, theatres that produce new works have a stake in the royalties from the beginning, however, several organizations are beginning to change their policies. Earlier this season the Roundabout Theatre Company announced that it would completely forgo any claim to royalties from living playwrights whose work is produced in their Off-Broadway venue, the Laura Pels Theatre, unless the production was extended for more than 18 weeks, at which point the terms were up for negotation.

"The Public is here to support the American playwright, not the other way around. We’re pleased that this new arrangement reflects the core values of The Public and is one small step in making the American theater a better home for artists," artistic director Oskar Eustis and executive director Andrew D. Hamingson said in a statement.

The Public is currently presenting the musical Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson through June 30. The Shakespeare in the Park repertory productions of The Winter's Tale and The Merchant of Venice begin June 9.

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