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MTI Facts
Together since 1983 after meeting in the BMI Musical Theatre Workshop, Lucky Stiff was Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty’s first full-length musical to be produced.

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Okay, so you want to produce a musical! What’s the next step?

First, it’s important to note that every musical in MTI’s catalogue is  protected under the US Copyright Act. Before you can produce a musical, you must obtain a license. A license grants you rights to perform the show and outlines all fees.

To obtain a performance license, you must first submit an application to MTI. Applications can be filled out online or through printed forms. Application for rights can also be in the form of a letter, provided you include the following information:

  • Name and Address of Producing Organization
  • Phone and Fax numbers
  • Name of Show
  • Dates of Desired Performance(s)
  • Number of Performances
  • Name of Theatre/Auditorium
  • Seating Capacity of Theatre/Auditorium 
  • Ticket Prices (be specific, include all discounts)

This information should be sent (by mail or by fax, but not both) to MTI on your organization’s letterhead.

The processing time for an application can vary from 2 days to 2 weeks.  Some musicals may be restricted in certain areas or at certain times.  Always obtain written confirmation of a musical’s availability from MTI before planning a production or announcing a season.

If  the title is available for the dates indicated on the application, fees are quoted and a license is generated. There are three basic fees involved in licensing a musical: 

  • A royalty fee (per performance);
  • A rental fee;
  • A refundable security deposit

A royalty fee is due whenever a play is presented in front of an audience- whether an admission is charged or not. This includes classroom presentations, benefits, or private shows.The fact that a  performance is free or benefit performances is taken into account when fees are quoted.

When you enter into a licensing agreement, the materials supplied by MTI (which generally include the script/libretto-vocal books, a piano conductor score and individual orchestra parts) are the only authorized performance materials available for each musical (regardless of other versions which may exist in print, on film or otherwise) and must be rented from MTI as a condition of the license. The standard rental time is two months prior to your initial performance. Additional fees apply for each additional rental week.

The security deposit is refunded upon return of the rental materials to the MTI Warehouse, minus any shipping/handling charges, outstanding balances, damage or loss of material.

If the terms of the agreement are acceptable to your organization, sign the license and return it to MTI with payment (approved schools may use purchase orders for certain fees). Once MTI has received your signed contract and the appropriate fees and deposit, rehearsal materials are scheduled for shipment. Materials are normally shipped about two months before your first performance.

Remember, an MTI performance license is only valid for six weeks after the date of issue. To secure the performance rights you desire, you must return the license, signed and with payment within that time period. If it is not returned as outlined above, show availability and the fees quoted may be with drawn.

Read more detailed information about the licensing steps.