ONLINE SEMINAR: Theatre Law 101

taught by Jon Garon
Monday, May 15th from 7:00pm - 9:00pm CT
Online via Zoom
$10 for Members, $20 for Non-Members

Class Type: Business of Theater, Playwriting Career                 

Class Level: All Experience Levels Welcome

Class Dates: Monday, May 15th

Class Time: 7:00pm - 9:00pm CT 

(5:00pm PT, 6:00pm MT, 8:00pm ET)

Where: Online via Zoom, check out this quick video on the process.

Structure: Lecture/presentation, Discussion, Q&A

Questions: Email Alayna, Membership Programs Manager at

Captioning: For all sessions, we enable Zoom's auto-generated captioning. However, live captioning can be requested (with 2-weeks' notice) via the Membership Programs Participation Form shared in the detailed confirmation email.

Recordings: If you cannot attend a portion of the seminar, we have a Teaching Assistant and/or PWC facilitator taking in-depth notes. These written notes will be shared with all participants at the end of each session. (We record all of our sessions for internal use only. We do not share recordings with participants.)

Participants must register to join this class, Sign Up at the bottom of the page.


This seminar is an introduction and overview to the key legal considerations that should be addressed by playwrights and producers undertaking theatrical productions. The topics will include copyright basics, joint copyright authorship, licensing of music, key contractual terms for authors, directors, cast, and crew, set safety, and regulations regarding censorship and content restrictions. Featuring a lively Q&A, the seminar will promote a robust discussion on the legal strategies essential for successful productions.

This Is the Seminar for You if You:

  • Are a playwright, producer, and/or theatre company that does not have pro bono or other legal counsel.
  • Have legal questions about theater projects or the industry.
  • Are interested in the business of theater and playwriting.

What to Expect:

  • Discussion and presentation about the following:
    • Copyright Ownership
    • Joint authorship
    • Changes to text during rehearsals and runs
    • Use of music
    • Key contractual considerations when not using the Dramatist Guild's Approve Production Contract
    • Introduction to libel and slander
    • Writing for younger audiences (and more conservative regions) on censorship
    • Introduction for the writer (and producer) on basic set safety

Important Things to Note:

  • The speaker is a U.S. licensed attorney and professor. The guidance is general in nature and cannot be relied upon as legal advice. In addition, the laws vary from country to country at least to a small degree, and the speaker cannot promise the laws outside the United States would result in the same guidance.
  • When you sign up, you will receive an auto-confirmation email. About a week before the session you will receive a detailed confirmation email with important information about the seminar including (1) Membership Programs Participation Form (2) The Zoom link (3) Pre-assignments from the instructor and (4) Information about the PWC Membership and Education Team. If you have not received this email by the next business day, please check your spam folder or reach out to Alayna and she will make sure you have the information you need for the seminar or class.
  • All participants must complete and submit a Membership Programs Participation Form for each seminar or class they want to attend. A link to this form is included in the detailed confirmation email.


Playwriting is at the heart of the theatrical process, but because theatre is a collaborative art, it is important to understand the basic legal standards applied to ownership and development of both plays and productions. This also enables the playwrights and producers to understand how to develop the most appropriate agreements to achieve the shared goals of each production. A few additional topics are added that are essential to presenting the productions in a safe manner that meets all legal requirements and fosters the best creative environment.


Jon M. Garon is Professor of Law and Director of the Intellectual Property, Cybersecurity, and Technology Law program at Nova Southeastern University Shepard Broad College of Law, teaching Constitutional Law, Contracts, Privacy Law, Entertainment Law, Intellectual Property Law and additional courses. He has published over 60 books, book chapters, and academic articles, and he has presented at more than 300 programs. A Minnesota native, he received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Minnesota in 1985 and his juris doctor degree from Columbia University School of Law in 1988.

Professor Garon served as dean for NSU’s Shepard Broad College of Law from 2014 to 2020. Prior to joining Nova Southeastern University in 2014, Professor Garon was the inaugural director of the Northern Kentucky University Salmon P. Chase College of Law, Law + Informatics Institute, serving from 2011-2014. He served as dean and professor of law at Hamline University School of Law in St. Paul, Minnesota from 2003 to 2008 and interim dean of the Hamline Graduate School of Management from 2005 to 2006. Before Hamline, Professor Garon taught Entertainment Law and Copyright at Franklin Pierce Law Center in Concord, New Hampshire and Western State University College of Law in Orange County, California. Professor Garon has been named a Senior Scholar at the George Mason University Antonin Scalia Law School’s Center for Intellectual Property X Innovation Policy and an Affiliated Faculty Member at the University of New Hampshire Franklin Pierce School of Law.

Most of Professor Garon’s published articles are available without charge at NSU Selected Works ( and the Social Science Research Network

Professor Garon's recent and forthcoming books include Metaverse: Using Online Platforms, Games, NFTs, and Blockchain in Education (Rowman & Littlefield 2024) (forthcoming); How AI, Crypto,
NFTs, and Cyber will Upend the 21st Century: The Battle for the Metaverse (Edward Elgar Publishing 2023) (forthcoming); Intellectual Property Law and Practice: A Contemporary Approach (2023 West Academic) (forthcoming); Parenting for the Digital Generation−The Parent's Guide to Digital Education and the Online Environment (2022 Rowman & Littlefield); Law Professor's Desk Reference (2021 Carolina Academic Press); A Short and Happy Guide to Privacy and Cybersecurity Law (2020 West Academic); The Independent Filmmaker’s Law & Business Guide to Financing, Shooting, and Distributing Independent and Digital Films (A Cappella Books, 3d Ed. 2021); Entertainment Law and Practice (Carolina Academic Press 2020); The Entrepreneur’s Intellectual Property & Business Handbook (2d. Ed. Manegiere Publications 2018); and The Pop Culture Business Handbook for Cons and Festivals (Manegiere Publications 2017); as well as Professor Garon’s debut novel, Burn Rate (Manegiere Publications 2019).

 Sign Up Below! 

Questions? Email Membership Programs Manager, Alayna Jacqueline Barnes, at

Headshot of Jon Garon, wearing a suit in tie, standing in front of his bookshelves.