(Photo: Julieta Cervantes)

Broadway Licensing has entered into an agreement to acquire theatrical licensing company Dramatists Play Service, Inc. 

Under the agreement, Dramatists Play Service will continue to work with plays and playwrights, while Broadway Licensing will take over the company’s musicals. And as part of the deal, Broadway Licensing has started a $2.5 million fund to acquire rights and develop new works and launched an internal content development division for authors to extend the life of their copyrights.

Additionally, Broadway Licensing has formed a three-person advisory committee to consult on opportunities for new writers and rights holders. The first three advisors are Lynn Nottage, Branden Jacobs-Jenkins and Michael Korie.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. 

The first acquisition under the new venture is Keenan Scott II’s “Thoughts of a Colored Man,” which has announced plans for a Broadway run. Additional authors represented under the consolidated companies include Ayad Akhtar, Edward Albee, Jackie Sibblies Drury,  Katori Hall, Tracy Martyna Majok, Terrence McNally, Arthur Miller, Paula Vogel and Tennessee Williams.

Dramatists Play Service was founded in 1936 by the Dramatists Guild of America and a group of theatrical agents, with the intention of setting affordable pricing of plays and building national reputations for playwrights. The company was formerly owned and managed by a group of literary agents, operating under a trust, as well as the Dramatists Guild Foundation.

“During this time of unprecedented peril for our industry, this deal safeguards the future of Dramatists Play Service. Equally important is the range of thrilling 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,” said David J. Moore, acting president of Dramatists Play Service. 

This is the latest consolidation in the theatrical licensing space, following the spate of acquisitions made by Concord Theatricals, a relatively new licensor that now owns Tams-Witmark, Samuel French and the Rodgers & Hammerstein Organization.