Community Theater Artwork

← Return to forum

  • I created original artwork for several dozen plays and musicals produced by a local community theater. All the productions were staged with permission from the copyright holders, and stated as such on all the promotional materials, except when the play such as a Shakespeare comedy was in the public domain.

    The posters show the name of each play, the author(s) and composer(s) names and in some cases suggest the shape and/or spirit of the famous logo and imagery associated with that show, although none of them were traced or photocopied from the original Broadway play. All of the drawing, rendering and typesetting was created from scratch by me. In many other cases I did not refer to another artist's imagery at all, but came up with my own logos, poses, compositions, etc. using only the text of the play as my guide.

    Would it be permissible for me to make these images, stripped of their original times, dates, etc. available to other community theaters, for a cost?
  • Hello CartoonEtc,

    If you created your own original poster designs, you own the copyright in them and may reproduce, distribute, modify them as you see fit. However, what I am not sure about is whether your posters are truly original, or whether you have derived them from someone else's work. Your statement "the some cases suggest the shape and/or spirit of the famous logo and imagery associated with that show" seems to suggest that you are using or modifying works that may be copyrighted or trademarked by someone else. If that is the case, you will need to evaluate whether your re-use and sale of such posters would require permission of the original posters' owners, or whether your activities fall within Fair Use.
  • Was there any written agreement involved? It's possible these might be considered works for hire also in which case the theatre would own the copyright. Just a thought.

Posting to the forum is only available to users who are logged in.

← Return to forum