Playwright Information Center

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I really appreciate Playscripts and their work toward creating better theater and theater experiences for all. Jay Muldoon Theater Teacher, Fairfield, OH
General Information

Playwright Information Center

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

I have a question that isn't answered here...
By all means, please contact us and ask!

We will address your question as quickly as possible -- and if it's a question of relevance to all of our associated authors, we will probably add the answer to this very FAQ... Close
Why are certain names hilariously misspelled?
Many of our customers order online, and whatever they type into the online order form gets passed through to your PIC interface.

We try to correct the most obvious typos as we encounter them, but some are bound to slip through! Close
I have a new agent. Can you send royalty checks to my new agent instead of to my old agent?
After an agency first negotiates an agreement for a particular play, that agency typically continues representing that play in perpetuity. Therefore, unless the original agency informs us otherwise, that agency will continue receiving royalty checks for all plays negotiated by that agency.

Royalty checks for any plays under a new contract would be handled by the agency that negotiated said contract. Therefore, if your new agent negotiates your next contract, payments for that specific play would handled by that new agent. Close
What does "N/A" mean?
"N/A" means "not applicable" -- for example, performance dates are often marked "N/A" when a customer has ordered books for perusal, without a performance license. Close
What are "reprint rights"? What is my percentage for subsidiary rights like these?
When Playscripts grants permission for a third-party publisher to reprint some or all of your play, this transaction shows up on your PIC as "reprint rights."

See Section 8 of your Publishing and Licensing Agreement for your percentage of these reprint licenses. Close
Many customers have ordered single books of my play. Why have so few of them ordered performance rights?
The purchasing habits of theater groups can vary wildly. Often a customer does not choose a play for production because they end up choosing a different title altogether; other times, the customer simply wishes to supplement their library for future production consideration. If an order is placed by a customer in an educational setting, they may plan to use the book for in-class readings or exercises. Additionally, many customers are simply individuals who simply wish to read the book as literature.

In short, single book purchases are quite common, and they often do not lead to a production. In fact, most theater groups order dozens of different titles, the majority of which they will not end up producing. Production opportunities are a scarce resource, and theaters read and enjoy far more plays than they can possibly perform! Close
Why does my "Book" amount differ among different orders?
Book prices vary, depending on the type of book (standard book, special director's binder book, etc.), and any book discounts we regularly provide customers. Your "Net Book" amount is based on the number of books sold and their actual retail price, including any discounts. Close
Why is the royalty total zero for a given performance?
This is most likely due to the performance being a "Classroom Performance," where performance royalties were waived. "Classroom Performances" are performances given by a student or students in a classroom (and not an auditorium or other theater space) in front of forty (40) or fewer classmates at an elementary school, junior high school, high school, college or other post-secondary institution where the classroom performances are part of the course curriculum. Close
Why does the "Revenue Accrued" field contain a negative number, or nothing at all?
This play has not yet earned you enough revenue to show up as a positive balance.

For more information, click on the play's title from the PIC homepage, and then click "View new orders." You will see a detailed list of the play's earnings during the current royalty period. This list should explain the numeral (or lack thereof) that appears in the "Revenue Accrued" field. Close
Why is there a negative number alongside "U.S. Copyright Registration"?
If a play has not already been registered with the U.S. Copyright Office prior to publication, then Playscripts registers the play on behalf of the author. The author's royalties are then applied against Playscripts' copyright registration expenses (including Copyright Office fee, printing, and shipping), which appear as a negative number until they are recouped.

For more information, see Section 8 and Section 10 of your Publishing and Licensing Agreement. Close
Will I receive tax information in the mail?
If you are an American citizen, in January or February you will receive a 1099-MISC form covering all royalties from the previous calendar year. Playscripts merely reports this information to you and to the IRS; it is up to you to calculate and pay the correct amount of income tax. Close
Will I receive hard-copy royalty statements in the mail?
In order to be most efficient and environmentally friendly, we do not mail hard-copy royalty statements.

You can view all of your royalty statements by clicking "View royalty payment history" -- this link also appears on the PIC homepage. Next, simply click on any date to view a printer-friendly royalty statement for that period. Close
Why am I not receiving email notifications?
First, edit your author information and make sure that your email address is correct.

Then go make sure your email notification settings are set to either "All orders" or "Productions only."

If everything looks correct, and you're still not receiving email notifications, it's possible that our messages are being erroneously blocked as spam at your end. (This has been a common problem, particularly with AOL email addresses.) Contact your email provider (e.g. AOL), and urge them to stop blocking emails from the "" domain. Close
Why are some rows on the order chart shaded gray?
Shaded entries indicate an order that is either (a) still within the pre-production period during which orders are refundable, or (b) not yet paid in full by the customer. In either case, these performances are likely -- but not certain -- to actually occur. Playscripts, Inc. makes no warranty with respect to payments for these orders, which may be subject to cancellation, rescheduling, or delayed payment by the customer. Close
It looks like somebody ordered books, but not performance rights. Should I be worried?
Worry not; it's very common for customers to order books without performance rights. The customer may be purchasing one or more books for perusal purposes, in which case they may order more books as well as performance rights down the road, in the event that they choose your play.

Alternatively, the customer may be purchasing books for a legitimate purpose that does not require a performance license -- for example, classroom study with no public performance.

In any event, rest assured that Playscripts will follow up with customers who appear to require a performance license. Close
May I get in touch with one of the customers who has ordered my work?
In accordance with our privacy policy, we may only share a customer's contact information with you when there is a performance involved. Simply click the "Contact info" link wherever it appears to access the customer's mailing address and email address.

Note that Playscripts will never give out your contact information without your express permission. Close
How do I order books with my author discount?
The easiest way is by visiting the PIC main page and clicking the "Order books with author discount" link. Be sure to follow all instructions. Close
Where do I find the royalty statements that correspond with my royalty checks?
Simply click "View royalty payment history" -- this link also appears on the PIC homepage.

You can click on any date to view a printer-friendly royalty statement for that period. Close
What is my percentage of performance royalties and book sales?
To view your share of a play's revenue, follow these steps:

(1) On the PIC homepage, click on the play's title.

(2) Click any of the detailed "View" options.

(3) In the upper right-hand corner, you will see your percentages for this play. Close
When should I expect my next royalty check?
Playscripts pays out royalties on a quarterly cycle. Royalty checks are mailed out soon after the end of each quarter.* Quarters end on the following dates:

•March 31
•June 30
•September 30
•December 31

If your "Revenue Accrued" amount is less than a certain threshold (see below), then this amount will carry over to the next quarterly royalty cycle.

• For the quarterly cycles ending on June 30 and December 31, the threshold amount is $20.00.

• For the quarterly cycles ending on March 31 and September 30, the threshold amount is $100.00.

Please make sure that your mailing address is up to date!

*Authors in Canada, Australia, the UK, and certain other countries will be contacted with the option to receive payments electronically. Close
What does "PIC" stand for?
"PIC" stands for "Playwright Information Center." Close

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