June 2022
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Bonnie's Column: Using Music!
(at any price)

A woman swimming in the ocean. Nothing scary about that, right? But once you hear the bass line from Jaws, duh duh duh duh....all of a sudden, that dip in the ocean is terrifying. What's really amazing is that it's possible to use dramatic music to set a tone even if you have a modest budget.

The one option we do not recommend is to simply use a favorite track from your library without asking for permission. Doing so most likely breaks copyright law. In order to use music legally, contact the performing rights agency and (often) pay a fee. Remember that an ASCAP license only applies to music played pre-show or during intermission. The license does not apply for music used in the show. 

But you have other options! With a little bit of effort, you can find musical works that are free to use. Legally. First, recordings that were released in 1922 or earlier, or music and lyrics released in 1926 or earlier are in the Public Domain. Plenty of wonderful material is available. However, if you're staging a modern, lively play, Bye Bye Blackbird, or Show Me the Way to Go Home may not feel like good choices. 

Luckily, musicians around the world allow us to use their songs. For free. Every genre, every mood is available if you know where to look. One of the best places to find copyright-free music, that you can download and use freely is called freepd (Free Public Domain). A second place to find music is the YouTube Creative Studio. This is an audio library of music and sound effects that are copyright-safe. Some of the files require that you give the artist credit (it'll say "attribution required"). Be sure to check the "License Type" and follow the rules as they ask. 

A final note. "Royalty Free" music despite the name, isn't free. Royalty Free only means that after you purchase a license, you don't have to pay a fee every time you use a piece. 

I hope this helps you! As a community of artists, it is important for us to honor the intellectual property of musicians and composers. Lucky for us, there are many musical options available that are inexpensive and legal to use! 

Bonnie L. Vorenberg
President, ArtAge Publications
The Senior Theatre Resource Center

Our Plays are Being Performed!

A group in Alberta Canada produced four plays from Age on Stage®: Comedies for Readers Theatre Volume I. Even though it was the first time the group performed at the church, the two night run was a huge success. Along with a silent auction, the group raised $1400! The director wrote, "I look forward to doing more of the shows from ArtAge in the future, so you'll get tired of hearing from me!" Rest assured, we never tire of hearing from happy customers. 
At the Diner with Dad, was well-received in California. In just 10 minutes, this award-winning play speaks volumes of the dynamics between daughters, dads, and a waitress. 
Casserole Casanova received rave reviews in Kansas! The actor who played Monique shared, "We all laughed when we read the script...the show brought together a melting pot of friends who might never have met otherwise. Truly, we are grateful to our directors Bob and Mary for their patient direction and kind guidance!"
A theatre group in Virginia staged a fabulous production that included It's Not About Pot Roast (above left) The Stick-Up. (above right), and Anniversary (right). 
Audiences raved about the shows! It was a great mix of plays, all having to do with surprising a friend in one way or another. 
At the Border, by Bob Wilkins, is always a huge hit! From the feuding small-town mayors to the over-the-hill hippies, all of the roles are relatable and fun to play. 

Bob Wilkins
Featured Playwright 

Bob shared, "My plays feature some of the colorful characters I’ve met in my life which I place in believable plots that are easy to stage. The shows don’t require scenery or costumes to come alive, as the characters do the heavy lifting. I write plays that are performed successfully by actors in any skill level. Most of all, they are lively comedies. They were fun to write. People tell me they are fun to perform. When you read and stage my plays, think of me!" 

Before becoming a playwright, Bob was a High School Educator. Those more than 30 years influenced his perspective on life. He notes that actors, of any age, are often reluctant to step outside of comfort zones. However, he encourages all to take that leap. Because performing on stage can be an exercise in self-discovery at any stage in life. 

June Sale

Save $5 

Gerald’s Dream
35 minute comedy, 2 men, 5 women, 1 either, plus extras
In this play, older actors get to play teenagers as they relive scenes from high school and explore how teenage nerds transform into accomplished adults.

At the Border 
25 minute comedy, 3 men, 3 women, 3 either
The Pettiburg Town Hall spans the Canadian-US border and has two mayors in an ongoing feud. International relations are rarely this hilarious.

DNN–Definitely NOT the News
25 minute comedy, 9 actors playing 26 characters
The evening newscast is definitely NOT the news at DNN. Don't expect a lot of in depth coverage or serious social commentary! It's simply zany fun.  
Hurry! $5 off the E-scripts
of these 3 plays by Bob Wilkins ends on June 17!

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