A Message from MTI Regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19)

A Message from MTI Regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19)

MTI is working diligently to make sure we can respond to your questions and inquiries in light of the Coronavirus. Our first priority is the safety of our customers and their organizations as well as our staff and partners.

We have gathered some information that we hope will help clarify our policies and inform your decisions moving forward. Please check back here for updates:

FAQ - Production Cancellations and Postponements

There are two (2) different options in which you can request MTI to approve a postponement (either with new dates or without new dates) or cancellation of your production. These options are logging into your MyMTI account (the quickest and most efficient option), or email. You only need to complete one (1) of these options.  

Option 1 (preferred): Log in to Your MyMTI Account
Please log in to your MyMTI account where you will find a Change Booking form on each of your active bookings. This form allows you to request a postponement with new specific dates, a postponement without new dates as well as an option to cancel.

Option 2: Email
TO POSTPONE YOUR PRODUCTION: Please send an email with your updated dates to your Licensing Representative or to license@mtishows.com. In most cases, we can waive any additional rental time. While we cannot anticipate every circumstance, we do not expect that any such rescheduling requests will be denied unless a proposed "new" performance date cannot be allowed due to a pre-existing restriction.
TO CANCEL YOUR PRODUCTION: Please send an email informing us of your need to cancel due to the circumstances. Rented materials should be returned as soon as you are able to and all cancellation fees will be waived (aside from any shipping costs if you have already received your rehearsal materials).

Please note: You only need to complete one (1) of the options above. Our licensing representatives are working hard to address every request. If you've provided new dates they will be reflected in the Booking Details of your booking in your MyMTI Account upon approval. Please allow up to 5-7 business days for approvals and changes to take effect in MyMTI.

FAQ - RENTAL MATERIAL RETURNS AND SHIPMENTS

UPDATED MARCH 23, 2020:

Rental material returns:
For the time being, please do not return any rental materials to our warehouse or office. We kindly ask that you keep all materials secure until further notice. This is in response to the executive orders in Connecticut and New York directing all non-essential businesses to halt in-person functions. All fees due to late returns will be waived.

Please note: Rental materials must still be returned at a more opportune time. Please keep these materials secure in the interim and communicate with your cast, crew and orchestra members not to discard any materials.

Shipments for upcoming productions:
Our warehouse, located in Connecticut, will be closed effective March 23, 2020, due to the executive order directing non-essential businesses to stop in-person functions. As such, MTI will not be shipping materials for upcoming productions until further notice. For further assistance please contact your Licensing Representative.

FAQ - Streaming Performances

Music Theatre International is committed to supporting our customers during this uncertain time.

As we are all aware, circumstances regarding the ability of people to gather are changing day-to-day.

Our Emergency Video Recording/Streaming license was instituted to assist theatres and performing organizations that were currently in the middle of their performance run or were previously licensed and scheduled to perform live for their audiences for dates prior to 4/15/2020.

If you are still planning on streaming a previously licensed live performance prior to 4/15/20, please contact ZachR@mtishows.com for assistance.

Streaming licenses for performances after 4/15/20 are not readily available at this time, however, MTI will be happy to consider them on a case by case basis. Please email ZachR@mtishows.com with the following information which can be found on your license agreement:

Organization Name:
Account #:
Booking # :
Dates of Performances:
Number of Performances:

It should go without saying, of course, but we'll say it: Your organization should not attempt to circumvent any local restrictions or recommendations prohibiting public gatherings as a means of mounting a production in order to stream it. The health and safety of our customers and their communities is of the greatest importance to MTI.

We thank you for your continued patience and understanding at this time.

FAQ - Cancellations for Production Resources

For information regarding the cancellation policies of additional Production Resources, please visit the FAQ section on the individual pages, located here: MTI Production Resources.

Complimentary Resources for Upcoming PerformancesS

For any organization moving forward with scheduled performances from 03/16/2020 - 06/15/2020, MTI is offering two of our top resources on a complimentary basis.

Our Performance Accompaniment Recordings (PAR), RehearScoreApp, and Scenic Projections (by BMD), will be free-of-charge to those groups who have NOT already purchased these resources. This promotion does not apply to anyone who is postponing their performance to a later date past 6/15/2020 and does not apply to those who have already purchased the resources.

Please contact your Licensing Representative about adding these resources to your current booking. Some restrictions may apply.

Message from  President & CEO, Drew Cohen

March 10, 2020

Dear Customers,

"The Show Must Go On!" Since the 19th century this has been the rallying cry of producers, directors and performers across the country and around the world. The mantra reflects the theatre community's commitment to persevere in the face of challenging circumstances and has been widely adopted by other industries as well. Since 1952, Music Theatre International (MTI) has been serving customers involved in all levels of theatre production ( e.g., schools, community theatres, professional groups) who adhere to this philosophy. MTI itself makes every effort to satisfy its customers' needs regardless of the circumstances. We take our responsibility very seriously to support your presentation of live theatre by licensing and delivering the scripts and scores used in the performance of tens of thousands of shows each year.

The current Coronavirus crisis has presented circumstances that are unprecedented in our lifetime. Like most people around the world, we at MTI have been monitoring news outlets and government sites in order to stay apprised of the situation. Being a global company, MTI has taken precautions at our multiple office locations in order to best protect our employees by following the recommendations of healthcare professionals, the CDC in the U.S., and the corresponding agencies in other countries. We know that our customers have been working similarly to determine the best course of action in light of the specific circumstances in their communities.

Not surprisingly, several customers have contacted MTI to ask for advice regarding their upcoming productions. Notwithstanding the mantra stated above, it should go without saying that nothing is more important than the health and safety of your cast, crew, production team, audience and community . Whether due to the risks posed by the Coronavirus or any other cause, if people cannot safely perform a show or attend a performance, common sense dictates that they should not do so. Each community has been differently impacted and each producer, artistic director, principal, or teacher with decision-making authority must determine whether the show should proceed as scheduled or if it should be postponed until a later date. The ramifications of announcing a postponement may seem daunting, and at very least disappointing to many, but nothing is worth risking people's health and safety. In some parts of this country, schools and universities have been closed and certain public events have been canceled; elsewhere, it is "business as usual." Assessing the situation with your colleagues, production team, board (if any) and all other stakeholders in your production will allow you to make the best decision possible.

Given the many factors that need to be considered, MTI is not in a position to make that decision for our customers. What MTI can do is respond to our customers' needs as best we can. Our customer representatives are here to answer questions and, where necessary, process changes to existing licenses. Over the past two weeks we have added employees to our customer service team in order to meet your needs more effectively. (As with most industries, our call and email volume is up dramatically, so we do ask for your patience as we work to address everyone's needs. We also ask that you hold off on inquiries and requests that are not time-sensitive). While there may be pre-existing conflicts or restrictions when rescheduling your performances, we will do what we can to minimize the impact on your organization and your production.

If you proceed with your production, it might be helpful to follow the lead of The Broadway League, which has taken certain precautions to minimize the health risk to Broadway audiences as well as alleviate the audiences' concerns about attending a show. See https://broadwaynews.com/2020/03/06/broadway-league-updates-statement-on-coronavirus/

[UPDATE: March 12, 2020: All Broadway Theaters have closed. In effect until Sunday, April 12, 2020.]

We are hopeful that the coming days will offer more clarity into the nature and scope of this situation. As a precaution, MTI is equipping its staff to work remotely if necessary and we will make every effort to continue providing the highest level of customer service despite these extraordinary circumstances. On a personal note, we at MTI consider our customers an extension of the MTI Family and we take enormous pride in the role we play for our customers and the authors we represent. We offer you our sincere wishes that you, your friends, and your family remain safe and healthy during this crisis.

Whether now or at a later date, the show must indeed go on and MTI will be here to help make your experience as smooth and memorable as possible.

Sincerely,
Drew Cohen
President & CEO
Music Theatre International

Message from Chief Operating Officer, John Prignano

March 12, 2020

Dear customers,

As you would expect, MTI has received many inquiries this week from customers whose productions have been devastatingly impacted by the spread of the Coronavirus and by the safety measures that have inhibited or even prohibited the gathering of cast, crew and audience members in the theatre. Many groups have asked to reschedule their productions and all of those requests have been approved or will be accommodated. While we cannot anticipate every circumstance, we do not expect that any such rescheduling requests will be denied unless a proposed "new" performance date cannot be allowed due to a pre-existing restriction.

Starting earlier this week, a number of groups contacted MTI hoping that they could obtain permission to live-stream or live-capture and then stream their productions. This would allow the performers (students or professionals) to perform the show without an audience in the house and then have ticket-holders watch the show from the safety of their own homes. While this is no substitute for attending in person, it was proposed as a way to salvage the productions in light of the emergency circumstances.

MTI could not grant these streaming requests, despite our firm commitment to do everything we can to help. Here's why: MTI simply does not have the legal right to allow streaming. The same way we cannot grant performance rights to shows we don't represent or allow video recording of many of the shows in our catalogue, MTI does not control online streaming rights for the shows in our catalogue.

From the moment we received the first streaming request, we ( me and my colleagues) and legal department have been contacting rightsholders in order to obtain approval for these requests and in attempt to provide a wider solution for the many customers who we expect will face a similar situation during this crisis. The rightsholders we have spoken with have been incredibly receptive to the idea and are eager to help, but in certain cases, even they cannot immediately agree to grant those rights; for some shows, the streaming rights were exclusively granted to someone else, such as a film studio. We are all working non-stop toward a workable solution, knowing that time is of the essence. We do not expect to be able to allow streaming in every instance or for every show, but we are optimistic that some form of streaming will be permitted for at least some of the shows MTI represents, during the current crisis.

Our commitment to do what we can to help is absolutely genuine, but our ability to do so is sometimes constrained by pre-existing agreements or by the fact that we do not control every bundle of rights associated with each show. We are optimistic, based on our determination to work with the rightsholders/authors to do what we can to help MTI's customers weather this crisis, that we will be able to provide a useful option very soon.

John Prignano
Music Theatre International
Chief Operating Officer & Director of Education and Development