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Dr. Horrible: The Stage Musical
September 23, 2009
4:32 pm
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September 23, 2009
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Our community theatre troupe (the Town & Gown Players of Athens, GA) managed to secure the rights from Time Science Blood Club, LLC.  for a Halloween benefit for a local charity.  Getting the rights was an epic adventure, that began with contacting Rachel Rhee through this website, but ultimately, after  we didn't hear back for several weeks, we went a different route, and had much better luck.

 First word of advice:  do the legwork and get permission.   TSBC are within their rights to shut down any unauthorized productions:  copyright and intellectual property laws do apply even in educational settings (I work in one).  Get permission, fill out the contract (there is one), and move forward.  Just because the Whedons have been incredibly cool with unauthorized productions so far doesn;t mean they will always be, especially the bigger DR. HORRIBLE becomes.  Plus, the creators of DR. HORRIBLE are charging a pittance compared to what Samuel French and MTI charge for musical rights (admittedly, here you're providing your own script and score, but still).  They are not trying to gouge you:  honestly, I think they're still excited at the response the project's gotten, and that people WANt to do the show on stage.

The script: Shannon Kelly and the Macquarie Musical Society were kind enough to lend us their production's script as a starting point for our production.  We originally had planned to Moses Lei's score, but ultimately our musical director decided to rework the arrangements specifically for the talent pool we were pulling from (lots of choral backing in some of the numbers that were solos to give it more "full sound" for the stage.  Second word of advice:  remember that it's a stage play, not an internet show.  You can;t recreate the show, and honestly, why would you:  if you want to do that, just watch the show.  

You're going to have to take some liberties, and some things will be lost/gained in the translation.  You have an extra degree of artistic freedom since there isn't a published script, and therefore aren't breaking the copyright by making alterations/cuts/additions.   You can have dancing laundry girls if you want (we do), or include NOBODY WANTS TO BE MOIST from Commentary: the Musical, which is going to be a real crowd pleaser.  

Something else we found very quickly in the rehearsal process:  some of the original's transitions do not translate to the stage, unless you like dead space and scene changes.  Again, here, we did a little legwork, and got permission directly from Zack Whedon to adapt some of the material he created for the CAPT. HAMMER, PENNY, and MOIST online comics into the stage show.  

Other things people already mentioned in the forum:

The blog moments:  projections work, but you can also hope the audience will suspend their disbelief. Go through the motions of him setting up his webcam on his computer, then treat it like a monologue. Keep it simple.  

Re:  the van scene.  That's been a problem we've wrestled with since day one, and it's one that the solution to will have to vary from space to space.  If you have a wide enough performance space, use a "suitcase flat" similar to what they use for the car in EVIL DEAD THE MUSICAL.  Just cheesy enough to get a good laugh, and you can do all the business you need to for the action to play out.

I say all of this, but we haven't opened yet:  we are still two weeks out.  Some of what we do may work, or it may not:  ah the wonders of live theatre!

We run Oct 8-11.  If you like anywhere near Athens, GA, come check it out:  it's for a good cause.  For more info check out our website or Facebook page.

http://www.facebook.com/event......38;index=1

http://www.townandgownplayers...... 

September 23, 2009
6:27 pm
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YaYa
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Scar: Thanks for the detailed explanation! I didn't even know about the online comics, so cribbing from them might be a good idea for my production too! 

Can you please let me know how you went about getting the rights? I've had no luck with Rachel Rhea. Best of luck with your show!

September 25, 2009
12:08 pm
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Rachel Rhee is no longer looking after the Dr Horrible stuff (which may have been why some requests fell on deaf ears) but I have a new contact who is looking into all requests so please continue to send them via the contact page of this website.

November 13, 2009
7:54 pm
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Easton
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Bumping topic. Are there any videos up from your production of Dr. Horrible, Scar? I've been working together my own stage adaptation (with one original song in the tube right now), and I was looking to include some of the comics too, and it'd be nice to have some ideas on how others smoothly integrated them.

February 16, 2010
7:04 pm
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Rights
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Admin said:Rachel Rhee is no longer looking after the Dr Horrible stuff (which may have been why some requests fell on deaf ears) but I have a new contact who is looking into all requests so please continue to send them via the contact page of this website.


It seems whoever you have looking after the Dr Horrible stuff still isn't doing the greatest job of getting back to people who request rights (or at least information about rights).  Is there anyway you can talk to someone and please get them to reply to those of us who have been waiting?

March 29, 2010
2:05 pm
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So if anybody is going to be in the DC area (specifically George Washington University) this weekend (April 1st-3rd), we are putting on a stage adaptation of Dr Horrible!! Show times are Thursday April 1st at 8pm, Friday April 2nd at 7pm and 10pm, and Saturday April 3rd at 7pm and 10pm. Tickets are $7 at the doo (Lisner Downstage), cash only!! We'd love to have tons of people come out to see it!! And yes, before anybody asks, we did acquire the rights.

And this is the link to our promotional video, which is based very much (entirely), on the Dr Horrible Takes over the Emmy's Video: http://www.facebook.com/?ref=logo#!/video/video.php?v=1284894642514&ref=mf

March 30, 2010
12:50 pm
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AnneD
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GWU,

I will most likely be attending your performance this weekend! I'm very excited to see it, but I was wondering if you could let us know the steps you went through to obtain permission. It seems that some people have tried drhorribles at gmail dot com with varying success...How was the process for your production?

Thanks.

March 31, 2010
11:44 am
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Yay! I'm excited!!

Obtaining the rights took about four months. We began by with several different emails. The one we finally got respons back on was drhorribles at gmail dot com. In addition to that, we also contacted the agency directly via a couple of phone calls, to make sure that we were going about the process in the right way. On my second phone call, I got a very nice and extremely helpful secretary who asked around for us to make sure we weren't missing anything, and the next day we received an email back with the paper work. After that it was pretty smooth sailing, the paper work is very straight and to the point and the rights per performance is beyond reasonable, and borderlining on cheap.

my advice for anyone interested in obtaining rights is to be persistent. Not annoyingly so, but just a couple of steps below that, because you don't want to be lost amongst the many, many emails they receive.

March 31, 2010
11:44 am
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March 31, 2010
11:44 am
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June 15, 2010
7:49 pm
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Barishnakov
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GWUTheatre, could you post the number of the agency you called or maybe a link to where I can find it? Thanks

July 11, 2010
9:16 am
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Rose Ringer
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We are putting this show on at my shcool and the sheet music has disappeared form the net. Do you have a copy you could share? my wmail is shootingstr37@hotmail.com

February 1, 2011
12:44 am
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Sirc Michaels
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I am directing the show for its Vegas premiere. I would be interested in seeing what scripts and/or arrangements may have come before.

If anyone is interested in sharing their experience please feel free to contact me at sircmichaels@gmail.com.

Thank you.

- Sirc11

February 1, 2011
5:13 pm
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Thor Conley
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Guess what! We are doing Dr. Horrible on Feb 11th and 12th at Poston Butte High School. 32375 N. Gantzel Rd San Tan Valley, Az 85143. $5 Hope people come because the liscensing was big. Please come!

February 3, 2011
4:56 pm
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Sirc Michaels
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They have certainly fast-tracked the licensing process for this show.

When I first inquired about it last year it took a good 2 months or so of emails and phone calls to even find the right person, and then it was another month of tail-chasing before a reply was had.

Recently I re-inquired about the rights and had the license in hand within a week.

THANK YOU TIMESCIENCEBLOOD!

For those of you interested but unsure of who to contact:

Doctor Horrible <info@drhorrible.com>

They will need all the standard info. For those of you who might not know what that is, here:

1. Production dates

2. Ticket prices

3. Audience size

4. If the production is professional or amateur, and whether the cast and crew are being paid

Hopefully that speeds up the process for anyone interested in staging the show who are unsure of what to do next.

For myself, I am directing the Las Vegas premiere of this kickass show, and I couldn't be more excited!

Here is a link to the site for the show: http://www.wix.com/sircmichael.....rriblelive

February 3, 2011
4:56 pm
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Sirc Michaels
Guest

They have certainly fast-tracked the licensing process for this show.

When I first inquired about it last year it took a good 2 months or so of emails and phone calls to even find the right person, and then it was another month of tail-chasing before a reply was had.

Recently I re-inquired about the rights and had the license in hand within a week.

THANK YOU TIMESCIENCEBLOOD!

For those of you interested but unsure of who to contact:

Doctor Horrible <info@drhorrible.com>

They will need all the standard info. For those of you who might not know what that is, here:

1. Production dates

2. Ticket prices

3. Audience size

4. If the production is professional or amateur, and whether the cast and crew are being paid

Hopefully that speeds up the process for anyone interested in staging the show who are unsure of what to do next.

For myself, I am directing the Las Vegas premiere of this kickass show, and I couldn't be more excited!

Here is a link to the site for the show: http://www.wix.com/sircmichael.....rriblelive

August 11, 2011
12:02 am
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Mox
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I've been thinking about this for a while and have a pretty good idea of how to set the stage for a fluid performance. I am going to see, first, if any local theatres will allow me to do the show, then request the rights through the proper channels. I have some ideas to make the show run longer (as we all know, 45 minutes, or rather, about an hour with set changes if they're needed isn't long enough for a stage production). I have some great ideas and good actors already (I'd be Dr. Horrible, of course, as I was a musical theatre major and it's perfect for my range/physique). I really hope it works out. Good luck with your show! I'd love if you could record it and post it up. Any ideas would help with my general makings, and I'd genuinely love to see a good performance as some that I've seen bits-of weren't too great. Cheers!

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