Performance Rights

It is a breach of copyright to produce, perform, present or make copies of a script either in its entirety or in the form of excerpts, whether or not any admission charge is made, without a licence.

Please note that you must acquire a licence before starting rehearsals or issuing publicity.

We welcome enquiries. We have strong in-house knowledge of current and historical New Zealand work, and are here to assist in matching producers and directors with plays.

 

STEP 1: FIND THE PLAY

If you already know what play you want a licence for, or you are looking for a suitable play, use our SCRIPT SEARCH tool, or get in touch with our Script Coordinator to discuss what you are looking for.

STEP 2: APPLY FOR THE RIGHTS

Once you have chosen a play, fill out the licence application form and we will get back to you within four working days. There are some restrictions on when and where a play may be licensed. If the play you have chosen is already scheduled for production by another group, we may be unable to grant you permission.

You must apply before rehearsals commence.

STEP 3: LICENCE THE PERFORMANCE

If approved, a licence contract is issued and emailed to you, stipulating conditions such as:

  • Where and when you can produce this script
  • Appropriate credit for the playwright
  • Limitations on alterations
  • Issuing of complimentary tickets
  • Recording of performances

You will receive an invoice for a non-refundable fee or advance against royalties. Professional and community productions will receive a billing sheet and, depending on the play, a box office report may be required. Charges vary depending on venue size, number of performances, and duration of the licence.

STEP 4: CONFIRM THE LICENCE

Once the invoice has been paid and the contract signed and returned to us, you will have the rights to perform the script in the territory and on the dates specified in the contract.

STEP 5: WRAP UP AT THE END OF THE SEASON

At the end of the season, you may be required to provide a statement of account outlining each performance date, time and venue, and the daily box office receipt details. This applies to all professional productions, and some community productions, depending on the play.  

 

Licence Types 

Professional performance licence

This is a licence to produce and perform a professional production of a New Zealand play.

A non-refundable advance is charged—the amount varies depending on venue size, number of performances, and duration of the licence. Once the season ends, the producer must provide box office reporting and pay the set percentage of box office revenue—this is usually 10%, but musicals, or plays with a joint authorship may require a higher percentage. If the percentage amount exceeds the amount of the advance paid, then the balance of royalty is due within 14 working days of the season’s final night. If it does not exceed the advance paid, no payment is owed.

Community performance licence

This is a licence to produce and perform a community (amateur) production of a New Zealand play.

A non-refundable fee or advance is charged. This, along with a signed copy of the contract, will confirm the licence. The charge is at a set rate determined by venue size and number of performances.

FOR VENUES OF 0–49 SEATS

$100 per performance

FOR VENUES OF 50–99 SEATS

$120 per performance

FOR VENUES OF 100–149 SEATS

$150 per performance

FOR VENUES OF 150+ SEATS

$200 per performance

Short plays are charged at a flat fee of $70 per performance.

Some licences will require the producer to calculate the appropriate percentage of box office revenue at the conclusion of a season. This is usually 10%, but musicals or plays with a joint authorship may require a higher percentage. If this percentage amount exceeds the amount of the advance paid, then the balance of royalties is due within 14 working days of the season’s final night.

School or Tertiary performance licence

This is a licence for a school or tertiary institution to produce and perform a New Zealand play.

For a public performance, a set fee of $120 per performance is charged for a full-length play and $70 for a short play.

We are able to licence programmes of excerpts from plays. These are usually $70 per performance.

For NCEA assessment purposes, a set fee of $70 per performance is charged.

Reading licence

A licence for holding a public reading of a New Zealand play. A set fee of $70 is charged. 

If you are holding a reading of an unpublished script within a membership organisation with only members present, there is no charge for the reading but you will need to apply for a photocopy licence.

If you are holding a reading of a published script within a membership organisation with only members present, there is no charge for the reading but you will need to buy copies of the book.

Photocopy licence

This is a licence to photocopy unpublished manuscripts for rehearsal, production and study purposes. You are required to have a licence for as many copies of a play as are needed by the cast/director, etc.

1–10 copies = $5 per copy

11–25 copies = $50 flat rate

Copies in excess of 25 will be $2 per additional copy.