For whenever we (or anyone) does it - understanding "no additions or subtractions"

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April 1, 2021
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It'll likely be Annie KIDS our group would do if anything, and stuff happened over the last year that mean we probably won't like I'd hoped for a while, but this question can also help others, so...

I've seen a couple performances online that were quite clever in using what they had or making little additions that are funny. One performance had a girl who couldn't walk well but sang well; they let her be an extra orphan, strapped her to a bed, and had her immobile as if she was a polio victim (score one for a director willing to include the handicapped while making it *very* realistic for the '30s). They even had Miss Hannigan say the orphan was "laying down on the job." (Like her 'don't get up" to FDR in some, a line only she could deliver becasue it's in her character.) In another, right after the orphans do SMILE, Duffy asks Miss Hannigan if she got the letter Duffy had sent. When she said she hadn't, Duffy says "Oh, I must have forgotten to stamp it!" as she stomps on her foot.

This leads me to ask - how strict is the "no additiosn to script" part of the contract? Obviously, something like the bond between Annie & Molly being great enough Oliver is shown to plan to adopt Molly also can easily be hinted at through choreography with no extra lines. And, both of the above are well within original author intent. (The invalid orphan may easily have been a work-around discussed with the licensing agent based on unexpected cast extras, saying she cna't be one of the main characters but can easily be an extra singing HKL and SMILE, but still...)Or, are there just other scripts around that are equally valid, they just aren't MTI scripts?

I actually had the idea that - for an Annie derivative with more boys - I could try to get permission to write a screenplay with unnamed characters like Bundles' family, etc., or even minor ones, though I'm ure it was easier for the writers of "Rosencrans and Guildenstern Are Dead" - Shakespeare's copyright ran out some time ago. :-)

1 Answer

Staff Answer
April 7, 2021

Hi! Please email your licensing representative with any changes you wish to propose for your production. When you are granted a performance license, by law, the show you license must be performed, "as is." You have no right to make any changes at all unless you have obtained prior written permission from MTI to do so.

Regarding your screenplay, you may need to reach out to Columbia Pictures, which owns the film rights to Annie. MTI handles performance rights.