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Dr. Horrible: The Stage Musical
September 15, 2008
5:46 pm
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Admin
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March 21, 2008
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Dr Horrilble twittered some time ago that they were working on the whole public performance issue

September 20, 2008
10:31 am
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R4ph
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Myself and my college's Games Society are also considering trying to put on Dr. Horrible, at out annual convention this April. Obviously this is pending permission, but it;s great to see we;re not the only ones who had the idea =).

Also, one of the ideas we had for the logistics was to put a computer in the corner of the stage, and have Billys home set up there, and actually have a cam on the computer feeding to a data projector onto the backdrop. It has the disadvantage of possible resolution issues, but if those could be gotten over it could be quite nice, imo.

September 21, 2008
2:38 am
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Candace Upton
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Any word on how we can try to get permission?

September 22, 2008
6:29 am
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diva
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Cheap said:

One word

Broadway


That would be beyond awesome.

September 27, 2008
9:18 pm
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Deane Jessep
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R4ph said:

... actually have a cam on the computer feeding to a data projector onto the backdrop. It has the disadvantage of possible resolution issues, but if those could be gotten over it could be quite nice, imo.


Thats actually a pretty good idea, if you have time to have him act the bits live between wardrobe changes etc... then put the spotlight on him but also have it on the screen.  The cut back and forths and tough bits like the last 3 seconds could then be done by cutting the spot light and cueing the projector with a pre-recording.  It could be hard to make it convincing but if you built trust with the audience as earlier mentioned then cuts to recordings would work better.

Technically resolution would not be much of a problem... just run a feed into the projector from a real camera hidden in the monitor outside of the audiences view.

September 27, 2008
9:22 pm
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Deane Jessep
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Also I am adding my vote to the list of earlier posters for Joss and co to release a stage musical script and a method of securing permission to produce it.

November 12, 2008
2:18 am
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Victoria, Australia
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November 11, 2008
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It's entirely possible, you can do heaps of stuff on stage these days.

I'm currently trying to convince the drama teachers at my brother's high school to do Dr. Horrible as their musical next year

February 3, 2009
5:21 pm
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Bryce
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If anybody is in CT and wants to come see a staged version to get ideas, I am doing the show at Trinity College in Hartford on the weekend of Feb. 19th.  Check it on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/event......7931959539

We're also addinng an ever-so-slightly edited version of "Nobody Wants to be Moist".   Should be fun.  Made a freeze ray out of a Nerf gun.

February 3, 2009
5:50 pm
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Bryce - do you actually have permission to be doing this??

February 3, 2009
11:51 pm
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Victoria, Australia
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Yeah, you might want to check that out dude, just so you don't get in trouble.

Although, Bryce's Facebook page for his production of Horrible says it's completely credited to Joss and co. and it's not-for-profit... is that okay or not?

February 4, 2009
2:57 am
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Bryce
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I asked for permission, no response yet, but what we are doing is well within the limits of Educational Fair Use.  I guess we will wait and see.

February 4, 2009
3:11 am
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I'm willing to admit I could be wrong, especially given differing laws in different countries but I think you'll find that Dr. Horrible does NOT fall under any “fair use” policy.  It is a copyright protected creative work that is not in the public domain.

If you have some guildlines to back up your case, please feel free to share.

February 4, 2009
4:06 am
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Bryce
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I’d love to share.  Under part 17 of the United States Code, section 107, reproduction in part or in whole of a work is permitted for teaching or scholarship, without the owner’s permission.  This particular production that I am doing is indeed a class for which credit will be received at Trinity College, and will be a learning experience for the many students involved.

This educational fair use only applies because it is educational and not-for-profit.  Additionally, it had no chance of diminishing the potential for profit by the creators of Dr. Horrible.

Additionally, section 107 refers to a “portion” of a copyrighted work being reproduced.  In this case, a transcription of the musical and its lyrics are reproduced.  Everything else in our production is a product of the creative efforts of our creative team.  In short, there is a significant difference between copying a Broadway production on a college stage and adapting an internet musical.

Furthermore, I have received permission to use the musical arrangements that we are using.  We are not using the Dr. Horrible soundtrack at all, but rather the work of Moses Lei.

March 18, 2009
2:05 pm
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Rob
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Bryce - as I understand fair use, there is no single factor that absolutely determines whether something is allowed or not.  In your case, the fact that this is for a class assignment would weigh towards fair use - as would the fact that it sounds like your use of Dr. Horrible was "transformative".  However, there also may be factors that weigh AGAINST fair use in your case - such as if people who were not enrolled in your class were allowed to view your performance (as it sounds may be the case from your inviting readers of this site to come see you).  Simply the fact that your purposes were non-profit and educational DOES NOT gaurantee that your use of this work has fair use protection. 

When determining fair use, the best you can do is to provide evidence that you have weighed each of the four factors that are listed in the statutes.  There are many excellent sites to help you do this.  My personal favorite is the university of Minnesota Libraries' "Fair Use Analysis Tool" at : http://www.lib.umn.edu/copyrig..... 

Please understand that I am also NOT saying that your use of this work ISN'T fair use.  You would be the best person to make that determination because you have all of the relevant details.  I AM saying that 1) inviting individuals not enrolled in the class tends to weigh against fair use and 2) fair use is a balancing act of the four factors.  I should also say at this point that I am not an expert on this, but I do work in a position where I have to consider such issues.  I'd be happy to participate in further discussion on this.

I know you've already done your performance by now, but I think this information is worth posting because it might be useful for you or others in the future.

March 21, 2009
5:08 pm
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Lazer
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April 2, 2009
12:09 pm
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Michael
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I am directing a production this weekend (April 3-4) at Tufts University - we actually received official permission to put it on.

 Ours is quite a bit different than anything else that's been done - our 'set' is a giant rear projection screen that we use to project comic book-style backgrounds and special effects behind the actors. It looks pretty darn awesome, if I do say so myself.

More information is available on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/home.p.....9081773084

You can also check out a short promo video we made:

April 6, 2009
11:30 am
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Cj
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Michael I'm interested on how and who you recieved full permission from?

If you could post the info about it that would be great otherwise I'd be willing to give you my contact information, because the students in my department have convinced me to put on it as their final grade for the semester. We would be using Moses Lei's arrangements as suggested earlier in the message board, but we have no idea what are limitations are in regards to the script.

April 6, 2009
12:41 pm
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Michael
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I contacted drhorribles@gmail.com (note the plural), an e-mail address I got off the @drhorrible twitter. A few weeks later, I received a response from Rachel Rhee, the Project Manager for Dr. Horrible. We used Moses Lei's arrangements and a copy of the script that I transcribed myself. 

April 17, 2009
7:20 pm
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April 17, 2009
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Thanks Michael.  I emailed her right after I saw your post. I'm 14 and I'm planning to do it in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin with fellow high schoolers and 13 year olds included.  I'm posting flyers everywhere I can to attract more acters.  So...fingers crossed.

April 25, 2009
9:00 pm
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steel
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I've been thinking about this. I would love to transpose Dr. Horrible to the stage (this is all like best case scenario, big-budget stuff).

First issue - the blog scenes. Obviously, the audience needs to realize that a blog is going on, not just a monologue. What I would do is record all the blog scenes beforehand (well, not with a crappy digital camera or anything) and hang a big monitor upstage center. That solves the problem with the ultra-fast transition to \"a thing\" at the end. Instant blackout everywhere as the monitor shows Billy at home. There are some problems that I see right away with that (namely bad synchronization and poor video quality). Like I said, this is pretty much Broadway-caliber. They actually do the same thing in the play Frost/Nixon. If that fails, I like the idea of a quick light change. Even if Billy is with the rest of the League, it would work fine.

Second issue - the van scene. Someone addressed this earlier in the thread. For theatre to be enjoyable, the audience must willingly suspend its disbelief. The van doesn't have to actually move, nor does it have to be totally realistic (on the same note, any stage version of Dr. Horrible would not be exactly the same as the original - it simply is not possible to move that quickly through scenes or to make an actor 50 ft tall). Get a van in the theatre and on stage, then use lighting to provide the illusion of movement.

As for the set, I would put the laundromat and Billy's home on opposite sides of a rotating wall stage right (unless it really IS Broadway, in which case the laundry machines and Billy's room move onstage separately and without human assistance). Easy set transition. Everywhere else is outside until Act III, when down center becomes the new homeless shelter (actors bring out their own folding chairs, someone brings out a podium). Not too difficult. During the beginning of Everything You Ever, that set leaves and a table is set up down left for the League.

Lighting would be pretty dark and eerie. Costumes same as the original.

Incidentally, (and I know I'm probably going to get crushed for this), I would not be opposed to the original team lengthening it with some more scenes, subplot, and musical numbers (maybe more for the chorus to do) to get it to a more appropriate length. As long as it's not mortifying student-written crap. That has never worked, nor will it ever.

So that's my $0.02.

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