This page provides answers to some of our most frequently asked questions.  If your question isn’t answered by this page please contact our excellent customer service team at 212-688-2525.  

Licensing Musical Theatre

  • What is a license and why do I need one?

Under United States Copyright Law each author who has made an original contribution to a creative work has certain rights to control future use of the work; these rights are known as copyrights.  Tams-Witmark is authorized, on behalf of the various copyright owners of the musicals in our library, to license “grand rights”.  Grand rights, also sometimes referred to as “dramatic rights”, is the permission necessary to present performances of musical theatre.  Obtaining a proper license for any performance staged before an audience is not only the law, it is also the system by which artists and authors can exert control over, and be compensated for their creative output.

  • How do I get a license to perform individual songs from a musical?

As described above, Tams-Witmark only has the authority to issue grand rights licenses.  These rights are for the whole of the work, including the libretto, music and lyrics presented as a dramatic performance.  A concert performance without any dramatic elements (dialogue, costumes, story, scenery, etc) requires a “small rights” license, as represented by performing rights organizations such as ASCAP or BMI.  Sometimes the boundary between a dramatic and non-dramatic performance can be difficult to determine so please don’t hesitate to Contact Us if you have any questions.

  • How much does a license cost?

The cost of a license varies depending on the size of your venue and the price of tickets.  Go to the request a quote page to obtain a quotation for each show you are interested in.

  • Do I need a license for a performance where admission is free?

Yes, all performances must be licensed.  It is the law.

  • When do I need a license for a rehearsal performance?

You need a license if anyone other than cast and crew is attending the performance.

  • How can I pay for my license?

We accept payment by check or money order in U.S. funds drawn on a U.S. bank.  For licensees outside of the U.S. and Canada we can arrange for payment by wire transfer.  Please contact us regarding requests for payment by credit card.

  • How can I speak to a live customer service representative?

You will always speak to an experienced representative during our office hours.  Our offices are open between 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM Eastern Standard Time (Monday-Friday).  To leave a message outside of office hours you can reach our voice mail at 212-688-2525 or fax us at 212-688-3232.

Obtaining Quotes and Perusals

  • How do I request royalty and rental quotations?

You can request a royalty or rental quotation on our website by using the request a quote page or over the phone by calling our customer service number.   We will follow-up all requests by sending the quotation in writing.

  • When can I expect to receive perusals that I have requested?

Most perusals are shipped within one to two business days of our receipt of your request.  Most perusals are delivered within two to five business days.

  • When can I expect to receive the quotation that I have requested?

Most quotations are provided within one to two business days of our receipt of your request.

  • Do I have to pay for perusals?

No, you are only responsible for shipping charges.  For almost all schools and organizations located in the U.S. and Canada, there is no deposit required for perusals.

Show Materials

  • What materials are provided when I license a show?

Rehearsal materials include prompt books (scripts), chorus-vocal parts, and a piano conductor’s score; orchestrations are available upon request.  Additional materials, such as Rehearsal CDs, Tams Rehearsal Aids, full scores (partiturs), combo arrangements and band arrangements are available for some shows.  Check the show page to see what is available.

  • Do you have versions of your shows that you have prepared specifically for elementary and middle school students?

Yes, we have Young Performers Editions of THE WIZARD OF OZ, BYE BYE BIRDIE, CRAZY FOR YOU and ANYTHING GOES.  We are continuing to prepare versions for other shows.

  • If I cannot utilize a full orchestration, can I present my show using individual orchestra parts?

Yes, please contact us regarding your specific requirements.

  • After I receive my show materials, may I rent additional parts?

Yes, please contact us regarding your specific requirements.

  • Can I make copies of the materials?

No, you may not copy the materials, even for internal use.  Please contact us if you need additional materials.

  • May I buy any of the materials?

No, all materials provided are for rental use only.

  • How do you ship the materials?

We use priority mail via the U.S. Post Office and FedEx.

  • How do I return the materials?

Please return all materials to our offices at 560 Lexington Avenue, 12th Floor, New York, NY 10022.  Materials are to be returned postage paid, insured against loss in transit and shipped by a trackable method.

Presenting the Show

  • When can I announce and advertise my show?

You can commence announcing and advertising after we have licensed you to present performances.

  • May I alter the show?

No, you must present the show in accordance with the materials supplied.

  • May I videotape my show?

No, the right to create a video recording of your stage performance is not supplied with your license.

  • Can I present my show using only piano accompaniment?


  • What credits do I need to provide and where do I need to provide them?

You must provide credits to the authors in all of your advertising and programs.  The proper credits can be found on each show page.  You must also provide a credit to Tams-Witmark stating that the musical show is produced by arrangement with TAMS-WITMARK MUSIC LIBRARY, INC., 560 Lexington Avenue, New York, NY 10022.