What are the basic rules for producing a play?

Camila wants produce plays in her local arts centre, and would like some advice on copyright rules.

​What are the basic rules on producing somebody else’s play? I’ve heard if the play is more than 75 years old, copyright rules don’t apply.

If I wanted to produce a play that still has copyrights, how and who do I get permission from?

— Camila


Expert answers

Andrew Loretto's reply:

​There are different rules depending on whether the production is professional or not – plus certain authors’ estates (Samuel Beckett is a prime example) have quite stringent rules in place as to staging options. 

If in doubt, check directly with the agents or copyright holders of the play you are interested in staging. There can often be room for negotiation. Find a useful summary of copyright online as a start.


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