Writers are the originators of the dramatic idea for the stage. And the Guild is here to ensure the industry understands, supports, and honors that. How?


Wehelp you protect and defend your ownership of your creative material by protecting your copyright. You have an undisputed ownership of your play or musical, legally and artistically. Nothing in your work can ever be changed without your approval – not a word, not a line, not a scene, not a musical note, lyric or title. We are here to ensure your creative material is performed as written, never tolerate censorship and defend against internet piracy.


Weprotect and defend your professional interests. You can never be forced to accept a right of first refusal by a director for a subsequent production. No director, actor or dramaturg can ever claim a percentage of your royalties or subsidiary income unless you voluntarily agree to it. We advise you on what is appropriate when collaborating with other artists.


Weexamine your contracts. We make sure you are getting your negotiated royalties, conditions, and artistic approvals by insisting on enforcement of all of the provisions of your contract. We question any changes or delays in paying you and we provide advice on contractual or collaboration disputes.


Weare a source of business advice on a wide-range of theater-related legal issues. Our business affairs department and staff attorneys are available for you to get business advice and articles on such issues as copyright, free expression, collaboration, and underlying rights, and offers model contracts for all levels of production, and assures that first-class contracts protect the interests of dramatists everywhere.


Webuild community. Through seminars, panels, workshops, our website, our national conference, our regional programming, our alliance with the Dramatists Guild Foundation, the Lilly Awards, and the DLDF, we unite as a community of writers for writers, a tribe that is 7000 strong. When we speak, we speak for the thousands that have paved the way before us and the thousands to come after us. The only agenda we have is to do right by the writer.


Wepartner with some of our country’s leading development organizations and colleges/universities to advance the interests of dramatists everywhere. Through our association with the Sundance Theatre Institute, the O’Neill Theater Center, the Minneapolis Playwrights Center, Boston Playwrights Theatre, The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Juilliard, Northwestern, NYU, and Carnegie Mellon, we exchange ideas and problem solve issues for the modern dramatist.


Wekeep you informed about all things related to your career through our magazine, The Dramatist. We produce the only magazine dedicated solely to the dramatist. Issues of gender parity, devised theatre work, director agreements, ageism, censorship, family-friendly work environments, and craft are written about by our member artists from across the country.


And finally, and most importantly for those who came before and for those who will come after.


All the rights you have as dramatists – everything that comes from your unique right to own and control your work — did not flow to you out of the ether. Those rights are the direct result of one hundred years of dramatists working in common cause, each understanding their importance in guarding the wall of their common defense. Why should you be a member? Because it is your moral obligation to do so, for yourself and your colleagues, and for the generations that came before who fought the fight for you, and for the generations to come who need you to step forward now. In the end, the question is not “why should I be a member of the Guild?”…the real question is why would you choose not to be?



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