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Our goal is to make the process of licensing a show from Samuel French as seamless and convenient as possible. Whether this is your first time licensing with us or you're a longtime customer, we seek to provide an effortless experience for you during this process.

Every production is different and not every title in our catalog is licensed the same way. The requirements vary show-by-show and this has much to do with the wishes of the author and circumstances surrounding the title.

If you have a question about licensing, explore our frequently asked questions below. If you don't find the answer you are looking for, don't hesitate to contact our Licensing Department.



Order Inquiries
Where is my order?
How can I pay for my order?
What type of shipping can I get?
Can I return purchased scripts and materials?
I’m having problems logging into my account on the website, what should I do?
I don’t see a particular title up on your website, do you still carry it?
I need a copy of an invoice, can I get one?
There is a backordered item on my invoice, when can I expect this?
Can I put scripts and licensing on the same purchase order? Can you put my script order and performance fees on one invoice?
My school needs all invoices to reflect a purchase order number and a date after the PO was generated. How can I get a new invoice with this information?

Obtaining Permission
What exactly is a “public performance,” and how do I know if I need to pay royalties?
I’m a teacher and we are using the play in my class. Do I need to pay licensing fees?
Do we have to pay a licensing fee (royalties) for a school competition performance?
Does my school need to pay for a 10 minute scene used in a National Forensic League Tournament?
What are the fees per performance?
I was told the show I’m interested in is “restricted” - what does that mean?
How long does it take to get permission?
How can we tell if we are a professional or an amateur group?
Can I get permission over the phone?
I lost my performance contract – how do I get a copy? 
When I licensed my show, the cost is higher than listed on the product page - why?
Can I use my school Purchase Order to pay for my royalties?
Do we have to pay royalties for dress rehearsals?
Why can’t I apply for rights more than 18 months before the show will be performed?
I haven’t decided when or where I will be performing the play; can I still apply for the rights?
Do I need to order scripts, or will you send them automatically once I have my license? Do I have to buy scripts for all of my actors?
How can I pay for my license?
I just got my license for amateur performance rights and found out that another theatre in our town is doing the show. If I requested my license first and pay it before the other theatre, does that mean I get exclusivity?
I’m interested in producing a show, but I don’t want to commit until I know how much it will cost. How can I obtain a quote without applying for a license?

Changing the Script
Can I make changes to the script for my production?
Can I combine two characters into one?
Can I change the locale of the play?
Can we edit out the “bad language”/references to smoking and drinking/any references to a deity?
Can we change the play title?
Can we change character names?
We are an all boys/girls school can we cast female parts with male actors?
Can we change the order of the scenes?
Can we add a dance/song number to the show?

How do I get permission to cut a play?
Do I have to follow the stage directions?

Copying and Video Tape Rights
Can I videotape my production?
Can I post short clips of the show on my theater’s website?
Can I make an archival recording of a performance?

Can I use the artwork on the cover of the script for my advertisements/programs?
Can I make photocopies of the script now that I have the performance rights?

Cancellations and Date Changes
Can I email my date change/cancel information?
Can I report my date changes/cancellation over the phone?
Can I get my money back if I cancel my production (or a performance)?
I need to change my performance dates/venue/ticket prices. How do I change my license and will this affect my fees?

Amateur Musical Department
I am interested in producing a Samuel French musical, but I would like to see the piano/conductor’s score and a script before I decide on a show. What do I do?
I would like to perform a Samuel French musical! How do I go about obtaining the performance rights?
I have obtained a license through Samuel French. When will I receive my rental materials?
Why have I received all my music, but no libretti (scripts)?
I received my rental materials and I noticed the name of my organization is on the top of every page of the materials. Do I have to return my materials? Can I make marks on the rental materials?
I work at a school, can I pay my licensing fee (royalty), rental, and deposit fees with a purchase order (PO)?
Can I pay my licensing fee, rental, and security deposit fees with a credit card?
How do I change some of the information that is on my license (ex. number of performances, dates of performances, ticket price, etc.)?
I need to send my rental materials back and I cannot seem to find the return address. Where do I return them?
My show is over and I returned my materials. When do I get my refund?





Order Inquiries
Where is my order?
If you have received your order confirmation number, please log into your account and check the status of your order.  If your order has shipped, and you have selected a trackable shipping method (UPS, etc.) then your tracking number should be available in the “My Orders” section of your account. You can always call us at 866-598-8449and a team member will assist you in locating your order.

If you have not received an order confirmation number then order may not have been successfully submitted. Please check your shopping cart and proceed through the check out process.

How can I pay for my order?
We require prepayment with a credit card for all merchandise orders unless you are a bookstore or an educational institution on an approved purchase order system with a pre-existing Samuel French account. We accept American Express, Discover, MasterCard and Visa. If you are an institution paying remiting payment on your purcahse order, please note that all checks or money orders must be in USD and from a US bank.

What type of shipping can I get?
UPS Ground is the standard method of shipping and will be used unless otherwise requested. Expedited and international shipping can be estimated during the online checkout procedure.

Can I return purchased scripts and materials? 
Sales are final on all purchased scripts and materials.

I’m having problems logging into my account on the website, what should I do?
First, you should check to make sure you have entered the correct email and password. If you think that the password is correct and the email is incorrect, then you may have signed up with a different email address. If you think that the email is correct and the password is coming up as invalid, please click the “Forgot password?” link. If you do not receive an email with a new password in your inbox, please check your spam folder as the email can sometimes be sent there. If you still are having problems, please call us at 866-598-8449.

I don’t see a particular title up on your website, do you still carry it?
We carry a great deal of titles and are constantly expanding our listings every day. However, if you cannot a locate a particular product or title, please call us at 866-598-8449.

I need a copy of an invoice, can I get one?
Not a problem – you can simply log into your Samuel French account, go to My Orders and print out a copy, or contact us at 866-598-8449.

There is a backordered item on my invoice, when can I expect this?
Backorders for Samuel French title are generally fulfilled within 2 weeks. However, back orders for some titles from other publishers may take up to 4 weeks to fulfill. Please call us at 866-598-8449 for more information regarding the specific status of your backorder.

Can I put scripts and licensing on the same purchase order? Can you put my script order and performance fees on one invoice?
Combining a script order and performance fees onto a single purchase order may delay processing of your order as we cannot accept a purchase order as payment for a performance license. Unfortunately, script orders and licensing cannot be combined onto a single invoice.

My school needs all invoices to reflect a purchase order number and a date after the PO was generated. How can I get a new invoice with this information?
You can easily update your invoices through your Samuel French account. Under "My License Requests," click the option to "Pay Now" and select "Purchase order." Enter the PO number in the field provided and a new invoice will be generated with today’s date.

Obtaining Permission
What exactly is a “public performance,” and how do I know if I need to pay royalties?
Our definition of a performance requiring legal authorization and payment of author royalties (licensing fees) is any performance in front of an audience:
regardless of whether or not admission is charged; 
whether the performance is public or private; 
whether or not it is for charity or gain. 

If an audience is present, then a licensing fee must be paid, and legal authorization for performance must be obtained. This applies to the performance of any part of any copyrighted work as well as the whole. It applies to "readings" as well as "performances”.

I’m a teacher and we are using the play in my class. Do I need to pay licensing fees?
Licensing fees are not charged and authorization is not required of copyrighted materials within a classroom setting in which only the instructor of the class, and those students regularly enrolled in that class are present during use. If the copyrighted material is performed in front of an audience, which does not meet the strict "classroom" definition, then a licensing fee must be paid and legal authorization for usage must be obtained.

Do we have to pay a licensing fee (royalties) for a school competition performance?
Yes, all performances before an audience, invited or public, are subject to licensing fees. We have special arrangements with many state theatre competitions (Texas UIL, EDTA, KCACTF) which allow for special cutting fees and rates for your competition performance. When you Request a Performance License, there is a section that will allow you to indicate that this license is for competition purposes.
For Texas UIL One Act Play competition, we are now licensing performances at a flat fee of $125.00 as per the terms below:
SAMUEL FRENCH, INC will charge a blanket fee in the amount of $125.00 for all “competition” performances by a contestant school during UIL‘s adjudication period.
SAMUEL FRENCH, INC agrees that contestant schools may perform a licensed piece up to seven (7) times without payment of additional licensing fees.
SAMUEL FRENCH, INC will allow up to three (3) of the seven performances of the cutting be presented in front of a public audience in the applicant’s school venue for the purposes of preparation. However, should the contestant school wish to perform any additional public performances a separate license agreement must be secured and additional licensing fees will be due.

Does my school need to pay for a 10 minute scene used in a National Forensic League Tournament?
Member Schools and Students need not apply for permission to present Dramatic Interpretations, Duo Interpretations, or Humorous Interpretations of Samuel French properties for the purposes of National Speech & Debate Association tournaments. However, no public or private presentations may be presented which do not strictly adhere to the formal tournament adjudication process. If the copyrighted material is performed in front of an audience, which does not meet strict adjudication guidelines, then a licensing fee must be paid and legal authorization for usage must be obtained.

What are the fees per performance?
For information regarding the fee per performance, please consult the title page on this website. Please note that any figures given represent the minimum fee and may not reflect the fee as quoted. Some titles, including musical plays fees, are quoted on application. If you have any further queries please contact your licensing representative.

I was told the show I’m interested in is “restricted” - what does that mean?
Simply stated, “restricted” means the play may be unavailable for you to produce. There are many possible reasons for this: an Off Broadway show, a national tour, or you may be located in a city in which rights are currently being withheld.

How long does it take to get permission?
Generally we can issue licenses within one business day of receipt of your application; however, various issues can create delays. We suggest that you give yourself plenty of time and make sure you don’t start making production plans until you receive a license from us.

How can we tell if we are a professional or an amateur group?
We base the definition of “Professional” or “Amateur” on industry weekly pay rates and whether or not you pay your actors a union equivalent wage. But not to worry, after reviewing of your application, we will assess the appropriate license type.

Can I get permission over the phone?
Sorry, we cannot give verbal approvals or quotes over the phone.

I lost my performance contract – how do I get a copy? 
Not a problem – you can simply log into your Samuel French account, go to My Licenses and print out a copy. Or just let your representative know, and a duplicate license will be emailed to you.

When I licensed my show, the cost is higher than listed on the product page - why?
The concept when assessing licensing fees is that the amount of the fee directly relates to the income potential of the box office, no matter how large or small. In instances of higher venue seating or increased ticket prices in the amateur market, a formula is used to calculate the appropriate fees considering factors of ticket price and seating capacity.

Can I use my school Purchase Order to pay for my royalties?
A purchase order does NOT constitute payment for licensing fees. You have the option to attach a PO number to your licensing invoice so that your school district can release payment. But a purchase order alone will neither secure nor execute your license agreement. Payment by check, credit card, wire transfer, ACH, or money order is due no later than 2 weeks before your first performance date.

Do we have to pay royalties for dress rehearsals?
If anyone other than cast and crew members is present during the dress rehearsal, than yes, you would need to include this performance in your license request and pay applicable licensing fees (royalties).

Why can’t I apply for rights more than 18 months before the show will be performed?
Our policy was established to protect theatres from the potential of having a license withdrawn thereby forcing the cancellation of a production.

I haven’t decided when or where I will be performing the play; can I still apply for the rights?
No, we cannot issue licenses without a venue and dates of performance.

Do I need to order scripts, or will you send them automatically once I have my license? Do I have to buy scripts for all of my actors?
Scripts are not included with your license. You may order your cast copies online either when you apply for performance rights or after you have received your license. You do not need to purchase copies if you already own them, however photocopying is strictly prohibited.

How can I pay for my license?
We accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover, ACH payments (e-Check), standard checks, and money orders to pay for licensing fees.  Licensing Fees must be paid in USD, and, if paying by check or money order, must be in USD from a US bank. Please note that when paying for a license there is a 4% non-refundable processing fee for credit card transactions.

I just got my license for amateur performance rights and found out that another theatre in our town is doing the show. If I requested my license first and pay it before the other theatre, does that mean I get exclusivity?
Our amateur license agreements are non-exclusive.

I’m interested in producing a show, but I don’t want to commit until I know how much it will cost. How can I obtain a quote without applying for a license?
Requesting a license request does not commit you to producing a title. Once you’ve submitted your request you are free to cancel it at any time if you decide not to move forward with your production. Because our performance fees are based on the details of your application, however, filling out a license request is the only way to receive a quote.
 
Changing the Script
Can I make changes to the script for my production?
Can I combine two characters into one?
Can I change the locale of the play?
Can we edit out the “bad language”/references to smoking and drinking/any references to a deity?
Can we change the play title?
Can we change character names?
We are an all boys/girls school can we cast female parts with male actors?
Can we change the order of the scenes?
Can we add a dance/song number to the show?
Written permission must be obtained from Samuel French for all changes to the script. It is a violation of copyright law to make any changes in the play for the purposes of production without obtaining written permission. Otherwise, the play must be presented only as published in the Samuel French, Inc. acting edition, without any changes, additions, alterations or deletions to the text or title. These restrictions include, without limitation, altering, updating or amending the time, locales or settings of the play in any way.  The gender of the characters shall also not be changed or altered in any way (for instance by way of costume or physical change).

How do I get permission to cut a play?
Please email your licensing representative with your proposed changes and we will process your request.  Please be aware that not all titles are available for cuttings.

Do I have to follow the stage directions?
You are not bound to the stage directions but take care not to alter the author’s intent. There are exceptions to this and in the case where stage directions must be followed explicitly, you will be asked to sign an additional rider to your licensing agreement which explains the requirement.
 
Copying and Video Tape Rights
Can I videotape my production?
Can I post short clips of the show on my theater’s website?
Can I make an archival recording of a performance?
Written permission must be obtained for all recording requests, regardless of the purpose or reason for the proposed recording. Please email us to inquire if recording rights are available and we will process your request. Please be aware that an additional fee may apply and that not all titles are available for video/audio recordings.

Can I use the artwork on the cover of the script for my advertisements/programs?
We offer Logo Packs and Poster Images for many of our titles which often represent the artwork used on the cover of our publication. Please see the Supplemental Materials section of our website for further information.

Can I make photocopies of the script now that I have the performance rights?
No part of the book may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form without the prior written permission of the publisher.
 
Cancellations / Date Changes
Can I email my date change/cancel information?
Absolutely.

Can I report my date changes/cancellation over the phone?
Regretfully no, we must ask that you inform of any changes in writing.

Can I get my money back if I cancel my production (or a performance)?
We realize that unforeseen issues do arise and can force a producing organization to cancel performances. The following guidelines will apply in cancelling a licensed production:

1. You must notify your licensing representative in writing within 24 hours of the canceled performance. This notification must state the reason for the cancellation.
2. If you are canceling your entire production and notification of cancellation is given before the first performance date, there is no cancellation fee and a full refund or transfer of licensing fees for the cancelled performances is granted. Refund checks for approved amounts will be made in the name of the Producing Organization.  
3. If notification of a cancelled production is given after the first performance has passed, but within 24 hours after the last performance date, then a full refund or transfer is granted minus a cancellation fee of $30. 
4. If cancellation notification is received after 24 hours of the final performance date, then no refund of licensing fees will be possible.

I need to change my performance dates/venue/ticket prices. How do I change my license and will this affect my fees?
To request any change or modification to your license, please contact your licensing representative in writing. Any changes may require an additional clearance and approval is not guaranteed. Changes to the number of performances, venue, or ticket prices may also affect your licensing fees.  If your request is approved, your representative will issue a new performance agreement and invoices. Otherwise, your existing agreement and invoices will remain valid.
 
Amateur Musical Department
I am interested in producing a Samuel French musical, but I would like to see the piano/conductor’s score and a script before I decide on a show. What do I do?
If you would like an advance look at the score for a Samuel French musical, you can do so by ordering the Perusal Score Download on the item page of the musical you are interested in. You will be able to download the score immediately after purchasing it, unless otherwise noted. Please keep in mind, this is not a complete score. The only way to obtain a full score is to be producing the musical, have paid your contract in full, and be in your rental period.

Also, if you would like to look at the script  (libretto) for a Samuel French musical, you can do so by purchasing an Acting Edition on the item page of the musical you are interested in. The script is yours to keep, unless otherwise noted.

I would like to perform a Samuel French musical! How do I go about obtaining the performance rights?
To obtain the performance rights for a musical, please search for the show you would like to perform. Once on the product page, click on the “Request a Performance License” link and fill out the application. You will receive confirmation via email that you successfully applied. Generally we can issue licenses within one to two business days of receipt of your request; however, various issues can create delays. We suggest that you give yourself plenty of time and make sure you don’t start making production plans until you receive a license from us.

I have obtained a license through Samuel French. When will I receive my rental materials? What if I need them earlier?
When applying for a license you can choose a delivery date for your music materials. Once your license is paid in full your materials will be scheduled to arrive on that date, but you can also request that they be sent earlier by contacting your licensing representative. If your scheduled delivery date has already passed when your license is paid, your music materials will be scheduled for immediate shipment.

Why have I received all my music, but no libretti (scripts)?
In most cases, scripts do not come with your rental package and need to be purchased separately (unless otherwise noted). You can order your scripts online at samuelfrench.com, or by calling Samuel French at 1-866-598-8449.

I received my rental materials and I noticed the name of my organization is on the top of every page of the materials. Do I have to return my materials? Can I make marks on the rental materials?
While your materials must be returned, please feel free to mark your materials as needed. This includes highlighter, pen, marker, and pencil! There will be no fees for marks made in the music scores.

If not all materials are returned at the end of your production a fee will be taken from the deposit for each item unreturned, in the following amounts: $100 per unreturned Piano / Conductor Score, $20 per unreturned Chorus Book, and $20 per unreturned Orchestra Book. This fee is per book and is not limited to the forfeited deposit if fees exceeded original amount owed.

I work at a school, can I pay my licensing fee (royalty), rental, and deposit fees with a purchase order (PO)?
Unfortunately, we do not accept purchase orders as a method of payment for musicals. If you need an invoice so that your organization can send a check, please contact your Musical Licensing Representative.

Can I pay my licensing fee, rental, and security deposit fees with a credit card?
We accept VISA, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover, ACH payments (e-Check), standard checks, and money orders to pay for licensing fees (please note that when paying for a license there is a 4% non-refundable processing fee for credit card transactions). In order to pay your fees by credit card or ACH, please contact your licensing representative.

How do I change some of the information that is on my license (ex. number of performances, dates of performances, ticket price, etc.)?
If you need to change something in your license, you must submit the change to us in writing. You may submit your request via email, fax, or mail. Please make sure to include your organization name and the title of your show with your change.

I need to send my rental materials back and I cannot seem to find the return address. Where do I return them?
Once your production has ended, please return the materials to:
Samuel French Inc
C/o Midwest Fiber
422 South White Oak Road
Normal, IL 61761
If your rental material is not received within 30 days after your last performance date, late fees will apply.

My show is over and I returned my materials. When do I get my refund?
Once we receive your returned rental material, you will be sent a Refund Request Form. After you have reviewed and submitted your completed form, your security deposit will be processed within 4 to 6 weeks.

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