Here are our frequently asked questions. Feel free to contact us if you have others or if you need more information. We’re here to help you!
What is a performance license?
Licensing is the process of acquiring the performance rights to a show. Once a writer or writers (book author, composer, lyricist) creates a show, their work is copyrighted because it is artistic intellectual property that they own. The copyright allows the writers to maintain control over their work and who performs it and how. A producer (like you) needs to obtain the performance rights (a license) to a copyrighted show, usually for a specified fee, before it can be produced. Northern Sky Licensing is responsible for licensing titles on this website and for preventing unlicensed productions as well as unauthorized changes to the script (book, music and lyrics). A license is legally required to produce a copyrighted musical, whether you’re a school group or a professional theater.
Why do I need to purchase a performance license?
All public performances in front of an audience (whether paying or invited) are part of copyright law and require royalty payment to the musical’s composer/lyricist. Royalties are the authors’ way of being paid for the use of their shows and as such is their wage.
What is the price of a performance license?
Licensing/Royalty fees vary based on your theatre type and size. There are usually two options – a percentage royalty or a minimum per performance.
Do we have to pay for the rights if we don’t charge admission?
Yes; all public performances in front of an audience (whether paying or invited) are subject to a royalty charge under Copyright law.
How do we obtain a license for a show?
You can apply for a performance license by clicking here or read more in about licensing by clicking here. The information you provide in your application is used to create a quote that is specific to your theater.
Can we read materials from shows before selecting one?
Yes; perusal scripts are available for immediate download as a PDF from this website at a minimal fee. Please see Licensing – Order Perusal
Please Note: Buying a perusal script does not give you permission to perform the show. Royalties are due when you perform for any audience, paying or non-paying.
How far in advance should I apply for a license?
As soon as you’ve decided a show is the right fit for your organization, please fill out our license application.
Can we make any changes to the script such as adding more characters or adding or cutting a song?
No. When you are granted a performance license, by law, the show you license must be performed as it is written. You have no right to make any changes at all unless you have obtained prior written permission from us to do so.
Can I make copies the script?
Yes; with a license and our PDF scripts, you get permission to make cast and crew copies – a nice savings!
Can I record my production?
Video recording under all circumstances is prohibited.
Can I use one of your logos for our production?
Yes! All the logos on our site are available in high-res format for your production for a nominal fee. Contact us for more information.