Do you want to collect royalties for performances of your new musical? Make a deal with a licensing agency (or become your own agency). On this page you’ll find submissions information for musical publishers.
If you’re lucky enough to have had a high-profile show on Broadway or the West End, you will probably already have heard from companies like Broadway Licensing, Music Theatre International, Josef Weinberger LTC (London), or one of the companies now owned by Concord Music: Samuel French, Rodgers & Hammerstein, or Tams-Witmark. They are not open to submissions by un-agented writers without first-class productions.
Most writers will want to seek out companies that accept submissions, as described below. We recommend you only submit a show with production history and reviews. Be sure your demo has high quality singing and your presentation package is polished and professional.
Timeline for Licensing a Musical
The process may take over a year as ideally you would choose your preferred company, submit the show to them, and wait several months to hear back. If you are submitting a show simultaneously to more than one company, it’s polite to mention that in your cover letter.
Once your show is accepted, it’s still a good idea to help market it with a website that has music clips and notices, and to support your ongoing work through social media efforts.
Need help with your presentation package? Email Holly at email@example.com for design help with your show art, pitch deck, social media, invitations, and website.
Licensing Agencies Open to Submissions
Theatrical Rights Worldwide has a significant catalog and they do accept submissions of new musicals. “If you feel your musical is ready for production, please send a hard copy of your script, hard copy samples of your music (for example: piano-vocal music), and an audio CD or thumb drive, as well as any production history (regional theatre, new work festival, or educational environment)…” Theatrical Rights Worldwide – FAQ page (bottom of page)
BroadwayLicensing is a full-service theatrical licensing partner specializing in the development, production and worldwide distribution of new and established theatrical properties. Broadway Licensing “advocates for the author, committing to have as many people experience their work as possible while protecting the copyright, utilizing its pioneering digital platform, high touch servicing and cutting-edge strategies to execute that vision.” BroadwayLicensing.com
StageRights LTD (Steele Spring Stage Rights) has an open submissions policy for musicals with some production record, as part of their commitment to fostering new theatrical works. The company licenses musicals and plays to commercial producers, regional theaters, community theaters and educational theaters around the world. Authors retain all copyright ownership. “We prefer full-length pieces suitable for professional, educational and amateur venues.” Go to their About Us page and look for the “submissions guidelines” section. Stagerights.com
Dramatic Publishing’s extensive catalog of dramatic works is popular for use by high-schools, children’s theatres, professional and community theatres. They accept submissions that meet their criteria: The work has had at least two, separate, fully staged equity or amateur productions within the past five years; the author is represented by a credentialed theatre or literary agent or has a show published by them or another major licensing agency. They are looking for originality and add “We will no longer consider… adaptations of A Christmas Carol, classic fairy tales, folktales or Shakespeare.” Visit their website for clear guidelines: Dramatic Publishing
Dramatists Play Service, Inc. considers musicals after successful productions in New York City, London or at a major regional theatre. To inform them of productions/new musicals write to Stella Bowles, Assistant to the President, firstname.lastname@example.org with a “one-page synopsis, production history and full reviews (not pull quotes.) Please note, due to the volume of submissions do not send full scripts. Submissions of a full script will not be accepted.”
Additional General Licensing Companies
Drama Source. As they say on their home page, “We Specialize In G-Rated, Family-Friendly Plays & Musicals.” They prefer to receive submissions in August since their main reading time is September 1 – October 31. Drama Source Submissions Guidelines
Eldridge Plays and Musicals accepts musicals suitable for performance by community theatres as well as junior and senior high schools. These can be full length, works for children, religious, or holiday themed. No explicit adult content or graphically defined situations accepted. https://histage.com/submission-guidelines-2
Heartland Plays Inc. publishes musicals and plays of “the quality and diversity to meet the needs and interests of most theatres and producing organizations; Professional, Community, Summer Stock, College, High School, and Theatre for Children and Youth.” Visit Heartlandplays.com/submissions/
Specialty Musical Licensing Companies
Pioneer Drama Service licenses short musicals to schools, churches, and other groups. They accept unsolicited submissions for ensemble-oriented shows that have a running time between 20 and 90 minutes. Submissions must be family friendly in both subject and language. They prefer casts that are balanced or favoring females (or gender neutral). They should have vocal ranges specifically written for amateur voices. Start with a query letter. See Pioneer Drama Service submission guidelines.
YouthPlays welcome submissions of challenging, entertaining plays and musicals that are appropriate for teen and younger actors and/or audiences. They are asking for shows that have been produced at least once, with a few exceptions. See https://www.youthplays.com/submit_play.php