guidelines for engagement

In consultation with several unions, a d’n working group has been trying to establish an industry-wide recognised contract for freelance dramaturgs in the UK.

We haven't got there yet – but, in the meantime, the working group has drafted six documents of guidelines to use when negotiating a contract for freelance jobs. These focus on three key areas: definition of the dramaturg's role, the calculation of fees, and issues of copyright.

We've created a template contract, (inc. guidelines for each clause), plus task schedules for production dramaturgy, devised work (inc. dance dramaturgy) and new drama development, helping to clarify the content, complexity and length of the work.

Because a dramaturg's expertise is often difficult to define, and mid-career dramaturgs often collaborate with the same writers/directors, many end up accepting low pay. We give a worked example of how an hourly rate should be calculated, and how the work might be described. 

Copyright has been (and still is!) a contentious issue for self-employed dramaturgs, so two high-profile legal cases are described which may give some useful background on intellectual property.

the introductory overview is available to all

it includes:

  • the definition of self-employment

  • how the rights of freelance workers are evolving

  • an explanation of contract layout

  • a worked example of fee calculation

  • an overview of issues surrounding intellectual property rights

the full set of documents are for members only

they include:

  • the introductory overview

  • a contract template for freelance dramaturgs

  • detailed guidelines on what should be included in each clause of a contract

  • three task schedules specific to production dramaturgy, devised work (inc. dance dramaturgy) and new drama development

This work, vital to freelance dramaturgs around the country, was largely done on a voluntary basis.

If you're able to offer some financial support to our continuing work, please consider making a donation.

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