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Comprehensive, ready to use collection of 33 model business and legal forms for the performing arts, with accompanying CD-ROM. Expanded contents include many hard to find contracts.
The first legal survival kit for anyone in the business of presenting live entertainment.
Farce - Two Acts Single set 5 males, 3 females Performance time: 110 minutes (not counting intermission)
Semi fictitious drama based on the 1958 fire at the Our Lady of the Angels Roman Catholic School on the west side of Chicago, in which 92 children and three nuns died.

Charles Grippo Blog

R.I.P. Samuel Roberson Jr.

May 24, 2017

Tags: Andre De Shields, Samuel Roberson, Jr. Dennis Zacek, Victory Gardens Theatre, CONFESSIONS OF A P.I.M.P., Kander and Ebb, THE SCOTTSBORO BOYS

Left to Right: Samuel Roberson, Jr., Dennis Zacek, Charles Grippo, Andre De Shields. (Photo Lia Chang)
I met Samuel Roberson, Jr., only last year when he directed Andre De Shields' powerful show CONFESSIONS OF A P.I.M.P., which I co-produced with Dennis Zacek, at Victory Gardens Theatre. Watching Samuel in rehearsal, I knew I was in the presence of a creative genius. His ideas were brilliant and our (more…)

Using Someone Else's Song In Your Play

May 1, 2017

Tags: Song licensing; Statutory Copyright; Common Law Copyright; Audiovisual; Movies; Television; Fair Use; Berne Convention; U.S. Copyright Office; Royalties; Performance Rights; Playwriting; Playwrights; Dramatists; Kander and Ebb; Elton John; Syncronization Rights; Mechanical License; Grand Rights; Small Rights; Theater; Play Production; Irving Berlin; Steven Spielberg; ASCAP; BMI; SEAC; American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers; Broadcast Music; Society of European Stage Authors and Composers; Sound Exchange;Public Domain; Producers; Theater Producers; Music Publishing;

    Mary writes a play calling for the character of Joe to sing "I've Grown Accustomed To Her Face," as he realizes he is falling in love with Sandra. In the next scene, Sandra listens to Frank Sinatra's recording of Kander and Ebb's "Theme from New York, New York," while she packs her suitcase. Meanwhile, to establish the time period of his play as the 1890's, Mary's colleague Bill has his characters sing "After The Ball." And, finally, Mary's friend Isabella wants to write a musical based on the life and career of Elton John, using his songs. All of these situations call for the use other people's material, thereby raising questions frequently asked by playwrights: Do I need permission to use these songs? When do I need to obtain permission? How can I get permission? Can the copyright owners refuse my use of their songs? Are the owners entitled to royalties? If so, how much?

    Here's a quick overview of using someone else's song in your play. (more…)


March 7, 2016

Tags: Words or phrases to categorize this post for the tags section

Q: If my script is subsequently published, should I re-register it?
A: Most publishers will re-register your play, at their expense. However, in your contract, you should require two things of the publisher:
    (1) It will register the play within 3 months of publication, at its expense.
    (2) It will (more…)


March 7, 2016

Tags: Words or phrases to categorize this post for the tags section

Q: What is the proper form for a notice of copyright in playscripts?
A: Any one of the following:
    "Copyright 2016 by Charles Grippo"
    "Copr. 2016 by Charles Grippo"
    "(c) 2016 by Charles Grippo"
    "Copyright (c) 2016 by Charles Grippo"
  The date should be the year (more…)


February 26, 2016

Tags: Copyright, U.S. Copyright Code, United States Copyright, Berne Convention, Copyright Registration, Plays, Playwriting, Playwright, U.S. Copyright Office, Statutory Copyright, Poor Man's Copyright, Common Law Copyright, Copyright Office, ECO Service

Q: Where do I register my script?
A: With the United States Copyright Office, which is a division of the Library of Congress, in Washington, D.C.
Q: How do I register my play for Statutory Copyright?
A: (1) Create an account with the U.S. Copyright Office.
     (2) (more…)


February 19, 2016

Tags: Copyright, Copyright law, U.S. Copyright Code, United States Copyright, Berne Convention, Copyright Registration, Playwriting, Playwright, Plays, U.S. Copyright Office, Statutory Copyright, Poor Man's Copyright, Common Law Copyright, Copyright Office, eCo service

    I'm fed up with all of the misinformation that gets posted about copyright law as it applies to playwriting. Most of it is well intended, of course, but too much comes from non lawyers and only causes confusion.

    Look, copyright law is pretty darn complex. How complex? (more…)


February 16, 2016

Tags: Ben Hecht, Hollywood, Academy Awards, Oscar, Victory Gardens Theatre, Israel, Newberry Library, Tony Award, Grippo Stage Company, Show Business, James Sherman, Dennis Zacek, Jews, Anti Semitism

I'm really excited that this summer we here at Grippo Stage Company, Inc., will have the honor of producing the world premiere of THE BEN HECHT SHOW, written and performed by James Sherman, and Directed by Dennis Zacek.

Ben Hecht was a legendary Chicago newspaperman who became a successful playwright; he co-authored the great farce THE FRONT PAGE, with Charles MacArthur. Subsequently Hecht went to Hollywood and won the first Academy Award for screenwriting. Enormously prolific, he authored, co-authored or made important contributions to such classic films as NOTHING SACRED, GUNGA DIN, GONE WITH THE WIND, STAGECOACH (1939 version), SCARFACE (the original with Paul Muni and a pre-Frankenstein monster Boris Karloff), WUTHERING HEIGHTS (1939), THE FRONT PAGE --- over 70 films in all. He wrote for directors like Alfred Hitchcock, John Ford, Henry Hathaway, Ernst Lubitsch and Howard Hawks. Even a partial list of the stars who spoke his dialogue reads like a Who's Who of Hollywood greats: Katherine Hepburn, Clark Gable, Frederic March, John Wayne, the Marx Brothers, Cary Grant, Ginger Rogers, Marilyn Monroe, Laurence Olivier. In all he was nominated for the screenwriting Oscar six times and won twice. Marilyn Monroe personally selected him to ghostwrite her autobiography.

But Hecht was so much more than that. He was a fierce supporter of Jewish causes and a foe of Anti-Semitism. In the late 1930's he used his fame and money to warn against the rise of Adolph Hitler and the Nazis; he even predicted the Holocaust. He wrote plays to raise money for Israel. He was such a staunch advocate of Israel's independence from British rule that, at one time, British movie theaters refused to play any film in which he took a part. Despite the risk to his livelihood, he never backed down. When he died, the Israeli Prime Minister traveled all the way to New York to deliver the eulogy at his funeral. (more…)


October 10, 2015

Tags: Kay Swift, George Gershwin, Ira Gershwin, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Institute of Musical Art, Julliard School, James Warburg, Fine and Dandy, Can't We Be Friends, Katherine Weber, Female Composers, Women Composers, Broadway Musical Theater, Katherine Faulkner "Kay" Swift, Vicki Ohl

(Over the next several months I will be paying tribute to the individual women who, by sheer talent and determination, achieved great success as writers, lyricists, composers, and arrangers in the male dominated Broadway musical theater. Check back often as I post new profiles. Here is the first of the series.)



Born April 19, 1897, the daughter of a music critic, Katherine Faulkner Swift studied (more…)


October 8, 2015

Tags: Sex Marks the Spot, Publication, Play, Politician, Sex Scandal, Election year, Farce

Many of you have asked me why the published version of my play SEX MARKS THE SPOT, has become unavailable to purchase as new copies. There's no great mystery, as some of you have wondered. The facts are simple.
SEX MARKS THE SPOT, my two act farce about a politician trying to cover up (more…)


October 2, 2015

Tags: Self Producers, Self Produce, Playwright, Playwriting, Directors, Directing, Choreography, Choreographer, Designer, Theater, Scripts, Actors, Acting, Crowd Funding

Every artist should self produce at least once, if he's really serious about being in the theater.


PLAYWRIGHTS: A playwright may wait months, even years, before a theater accepts or (more likely) rejects her script. Many theaters never respond to scripts. Many producers won't even read unsolicited plays. ( I won't.) If the script (more…)