Why Do We Need The Guild? | Speech

To protect and defend your copyright so the theater doesn’t become a work-for-hire arena where you get paid one sum for writing and then the producers own and profit from your material for as long as they want, as in the movies and television

To protect your copyright so nothing in your plays, musical books, lyrics, and music can ever be rewritten or cut, without your approval

To protect your copyright so you cannot be fired from your original project or replaced with another writer

To protect your copyright so no director or designer can claim or insist on the right of first refusal on future productions, without a contractual agreement from you

To protect your copyright so no director, actor, or dramaturg can ever claim part of your earnings or demand part of your subsidiary rights unless, and only for a Broadway production, you voluntarily agree that they were a co-author, that they were involved from the beginning, and have contributed something without which the piece would be unrecognizable

To certify your Broadway contracts and examine your LORT and off-Broadway contracts to make sure the producers are giving you your DGA negotiated royalties and your artistic approvals of director and cast, as well as the right to be at rehearsals.

To collect your income from your DGA certified productions, making sure you have been paid what you are owed, auditing and challenging any suspicious charges or delays in paying your negotiated royalties

To provide business advice in contractual or collaborative disputes, answer questions about intellectual property, such as use of titles, life-stories, previous versions of public domain material, and the rights of underlying property owners

To enforce your contracts so you don’t agree to one thing and then feel forced to accept or get stuck with something else

To provide you with opportunities to meet other dramatists through seminars, panels, and gatherings all over the country.  Additionally to provide information about readings, workshops, grants, and fellowships, and keep your address book up to date with the latest phone numbers and email contacts for everyone in the industry through the Dramatists Sourcebook.

To provide you with the nation’s premiere publication for playwrights, The Dramatist Magazine, in which pages you will find the mysteries, miseries and magnificence of writing for the stage, discussed, debated, and detailed by the finest minds and hearts working today.

To provide you with access to your community, both online and in person, giving you the news from the front lines, passing on the wisdom of its elders, and introducing you to new voices, watching as they push the envelope of the form.

To celebrate the privilege of writing for the theatre, and to make loud and clear as long as is necessary that without the playwright, there is no play.  And without the play, there is no show.

The death of the American theater will only come about if we lose the voice of the playwright. The Dramatist Guild of America exists to make sure that never happen