International Licensing

Samuel French handles all international licensing for the play rights we control directly. The only exception to this is the following two sub-agents:

Origin Theatrical

Origin handle the licensing of Samuel French’s plays and musicals in Australia, and also our Musicals in New Zealand. Please apply to them directly if you are performing in this territory and they can assist you with a licence, even if the specific title is not listed on their website.

The Play Bureau

The Play Bureau handle the licensing of Samuel French plays in New Zealand. Please apply to them directly if you are performing in this territory, even if the title is not listed on their website.

International Licensing FAQ:

Why does the availability checker always indicate the play is restricted?

All international (Non-UK/Ireland) licence requests are run through the principal agent for permission to proceed. This is so we can avoid licensing any productions that may conflict, including licenses in other languages in your territory for the title. As such, we are not able to confirm availability until we receive an application from you and start the permission process.

Why can it take up to 6 weeks to find out if a title is available?

Whilst we endeavour to find out if the rights are available for you as quickly as possible, on occasion it can take several weeks. This is often due to many people having to confirm there is no conflicting interest, such as the foreign language agents, or it may be that a producer has a licence for that territory and we are waiting to see if your production conflicts with their plans. We recommend you apply for a licence as soon as possible and well before you make any firm production plans for your chosen play to avoid any financial impact if the rights are not available for you.

On the occasions when it is taking longer to clear the rights for you, it is always worth getting the rights to a back up title in place in case we do not hear back in time for you to proceed with your first choice title.

Does it matter which Samuel French office I apply to for a licence?

Actually, it does!

All performances in the USA/Canada are licensed through our office in the USA and a licence should be applied for through their website If you are performing in the UK or Ireland please apply for a licence through our UK website

If you are performing outside these territories, it gets a little bit more complicated. But don’t worry about getting it right as if you apply for a licence through the wrong office, on most occasions we can swap it to the right one internally for you. As a general rule US/Canadian authors should be applied for through our US website,, and UK/Irish authors through our UK website, though there are obviously a lot of exceptions to this.

A title is on the UK website for licensing but not on the US, what does this mean?

We contract with authors and agents specific rights to licence their titles, this can include amateur rights, professional rights, foreign language rights, and a contract will be for certain territories. As we have two separate offices, we often have two contracts for the same title, or one office may have a contract to licence a title but the other not. If you wish to know if we licence the title and the rights you require in your territory please feel free to email with the specific rights you are looking for or apply for the licence through one of our websites if it is on there.

The title I am interested in is for sale on your website, but I cannot find a licensing page for it, why?

Samuel French is one of the largest retailers of published plays and theatre books. In order to provide the most comprehensive list of titles to our customers we sell plays published and licensed by other publishers and licensing houses. If a title does not have the function to licence on our website, it may be that we are not the rights holders for that title. In most instances the licensing information will be on the copyright page of the text (usually one of the first few pages), if this is not clear to you please contact the publisher who may be able to assist you with licensing information.