Broadway Licensing will add the game and music licensor Dramatists Play Service, Inc. to its list of brands, the two companies announced today. With the move, both brands will continue to exist, with DPS ‘library of musicals including The bubbly black girl throws her chameleon skin, Gray gardens, and Hedwig and the angry thumb– Switched to Broadway Licensing and DPS heading becoming a strictly parts licensing house.
The first new acquisition within the framework of the new agglomeration will be that of Keenan Scott II Thoughts of a colored man, currently scheduled to make his Broadway debut in the coming season. The work joins DPS’s existing theater catalog, which includes works by playwrights such as Lynn Nottage, Arthur Miller, Paula Vogel, Tennessee Williams, Katori Hall, Ayad Akhtar, and Edward Albee.
The agreement also includes initiatives to develop new and existing works. A $ 2.5 million fund will support the development and rights of new works, and an advisory committee will be formed to consult on expanding opportunities for new authors and underlying rights holders. Members of the inaugural committee include Lynn Nottage, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins and Michael Korie.
Broadway Licensing will also create a new in-house content development division, Stageworks Productions, with the goal of extending the life and value of existing works by creating new copyrights.
“Dramatists Play Service is, in every way, one of the crown jewels of licensing and theatrical publishing,” said Broadway Licensing CEO and Chairman Sean Cercone. Guided since 1936 by a mission to nurture national opportunities for playwrights, DPS has never deviated from this goal. I could not be more proud to welcome DPS to the Broadway Licensing family, and I am excited about it. that the future holds and the enormous impact that our collective team will bring to the industry. ”
“In this time of unprecedented threat to our industry, this agreement preserves the future of Dramatists Play Service,” adds DPS Acting President David J. Moore. Equally important is the range of exciting synergistic opportunities that Sean has brought to the table, which will allow us to better serve our authors and their titles, as well as the community at large. “
This acquisition follows the consolidation in 2018 of Samuel French, Rodgers and Hammerstein Theatricals, Tams-Witmark and The Musical Company (which then managed the Andrew Lloyd Webber catalog) under the Concord Theatricals banner, a move that quickly changed the music landscape. theatrical licenses from a variety of relatively small businesses in a considerably smaller playing field dominated by a few select powers. In addition to Broadway licenses, the vast majority of plays and musicals are now managed in the United States by the Music Theater International, owned by Cameron Mackintosh, Concord Theatricals and privately held Theatrical Rights Worldwide.