Customer Service available Mon - Fri 9am to 6pm EST


Below, please find sections on:
↳ Licensing: Competition Pieces, Cuttings & Monologues/Excerpts
↳ UIL Application Guide
↳ Important Notes
↳ UIL Competition Checklist

Licensing: Competition pieces, cuttings, monologues/excerpts

If you are performing a copyrighted work, in whole or in part, at a festival or competition, you are still required to obtain a performance license. Titles which may be licensed for festival and competition use are marked “Cuttings Approved for Competitions” on the Samuel French website – we’ve already secured permission from the playwright for you to perform cuttings or scenes from these titles.

If a title is not marked as approved, you can still apply for a license but please be aware that we will need to seek permission from the author for your cutting. Approval is not guaranteed and it may take several weeks to receive a final answer. To expedite this process, please include a summary of proposed cuts or a list of scenes that will be performed in the “Special Requests” field on your license request.

Whenever possible, cuttings of plays will be licensed at a reduced rate of $45 per performance. Musical cuttings, if approved, can be licensed at $100 per performance but may be subject to additional fees including rental of music materials.

Monologues and brief excerpts of less than ten minutes do not require a license or other permission from Samuel French when performed for audition purposes or for a limited audience of adjudicators at festivals and competitions. Performances of excerpts in the final round of national competitions (such as the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival or International Thespian Festival) may be subject to a license fee payable at the competition. Please consult your competition’s rules and regulations for more information.

UIL Application Guide

  1. Choose the play you wish to produce. If you’re looking at a play that either is not on UIL’s Approved List or has not been done for UIL before, please consider a back up plan.

  2. Once you have decided on your desired play, please go to our website at www.samuelfrench.com and submit a License Request Form.
    • On the form, please put your school or school district as the Producing Organization, the Billing Organization, and the Venue. We know High School UIL moves around, but in this specific instance you do not need to worry about that.

    • Please put the possible full range of competition dates for the competition. For example, if you know your first performance would be March 21st, and the State performance will be May 27th, put down March 21st through May 27th as your range of performance dates.
      • For High School UIL, please put 7 performances as your number of performances. If you put down more than 7 performances, your application will take additional time to process.
      • For Junior High UIL, please only put down the number of performances you know you will be performing (it’s usually only 1 or 2 performances).

    • For the seating capacity, please use the maximum capacity of your school’s auditorium or theater.

    • For the section titled “Contest, Festival or Conference,” please be sure to put down the following information:
      • When we ask “Is this for a Contest, Festival or Conference,” please put down YES.
      • When we ask for the name of the competition, please either put down “High School UIL” or “Junior High UIL.” The two levels are invoiced differently, so specifying is important so that we give you the appropriate paperwork. If you are a middle school and you do not specify that your application is for Junior High UIL, you will be invoiced for the High School level of competition.
      • When we ask “Is cutting required,” please put down YES and elaborate on what you will be cutting and why. Please be as specific as possible. This is also the place you should inform us if you want to make any adaptations to the script – please be advised we must approve any changes or adaptations to your desired play with the author.

  3. Once you have filled out the application, please submit it and your Licensing Representative will process it as quickly as possible.

Important Notes

In order to ensure a timely response, please submit your application several months early. If you wait until after UIL’s Registration deadlines we cannot make any guarantees that your request will be approved or will be processed in time for the competition.

Also, please be advised it is your responsibility to forward invoices to your business office and to ensure your district pays the invoice on time.

Purchase Orders do not constitute payment. A check, credit card, wire transfer, ACH, or money order payment must be received no later than two weeks before your first performance date. If we do not receive payment by that deadline, your agreement will be cancelled.

UIL Competition Checklist

  • A copy of your License Agreement, which you can find either in your email or in your Samuel French account.
  • A hard copy of your cutting for your contest manager. Electronic copies will not be accepted.

Your proof of payment for your contest manager. This can be a copy of your check, a receipt, a copy of your PO, or a letter from your administration. Providing proof of payment is yours and your school’s responsibility. Per the UIL Handbook, do not contact Samuel French for a receipt or for other proof of payment.


What is the UIL Blanket Fee? 

The blanket fee is a unique system Samuel French developed with UIL to make licensing paperwork easier for both teachers and for Samuel French. The terms of the blanket fee are as follows:

  • Samuel French 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 agrees that contestant schools may perform a licensed piece up to seven (7) times without payment of additional licensing fees.
  • Samuel French 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.

This system means that, so long as the students are performing no more than seven (7) times, the teacher only needs to submit a license request once and only needs to pay one invoice for the competition. It saves teachers and schools both time and money.

Why can’t I use a Purchase Order to pay for my agreement?

You can use your school’s PO system to process payment for your agreement. We just cannot use the purchase order itself to execute your contract.

A purchase order is, by definition, a promise to pay. Therefore, a purchase order does not constitute as payment because we cannot execute a contract based on an IOU. Each school district has a different system for purchase orders and payment, so please communicate with both your business office and with your Licensing Representative to determine the best way to pay your agreement efficiently.

I need proof of payment. Can I get that from you?
Per the UIL Handbook, proof of payment must come from your school or school district. Page 12 of the UIL Handbook states the following:

“Your Contest Manager will ask you to produce written evidence from your school administration that royalty for each performance has been paid. A cancelled check, check copy, purchase order, or a letter from your administration will suffice. Do not ask the publisher for a receipt or other proof of payment.”

I requested permission to do a scenes from on my application, but I don’t see approval in my agreement.Where is my cutting approval?
High School UIL: 

If you requested permission on your application to cut for time, that approval is already in your UIL specific agreement. You can find that approval in Paragraph 9 in your terms and conditions. If you requested permission to cut or change other aspects of the show such as cutting language or adding characters, and the author approved those changes, your approval will be on the bottom of the second page of your agreement.

Junior High UIL:

 If you requested permission to make any cuts or changes on your application, and the author approved those changes, your approval will be on the bottom of the second page of your agreement.

I just realized I may want to make changes to the script that I did NOT originally request in my application. How to I obtain approval for those changes?

Email your Samuel French Licensing Representative your License Request Number and the changes you wish to make. Please be as specific as possible about those changes. Once your Representative receives those changes, she/he will contact the author or the agent and see if those changes can be approved.

Does it matter if I say I’m cutting the show versus doing a scenes-from?

Yes. Cutting could mean many things, while a scenes-from is specific. A scenes-from means you are performing an excerpt from the show without cutting or re-ordering any of the scenes. A cutting could mean you are parsing down the show to fit your time frame. The latter must be approved by the author as removing scenes or parsing down scenes is considered an adaptation.

When is payment due?

Finalized and full payment by check, credit card, money order, ACH, or wire transfer is due no later than two weeks before your first performance date.