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Charles Busch to be Feted With National Legit Celebration (EXCLUSIVE)

Samuel French and Daryl Roth Theatrical Licensing partner to sponsor shows around the country

Legit play licensing orgs Samuel French and Daryl Roth Theatrical Licensing have teamed up for an initiative called “30 Years of Charles Busch — A Celebration,” a national push that aims to get more than 30 Busch plays on the boards at regional theaters around the country during the 2014-15 season.

Sponsorship from the two New York-based orgs will lie more in the realm of promotional support — including regional theater visits from the original creatives of a particular revived production, plus videos and pre-show announcements recorded by Busch — than in production funding. But with early talks already underway at a number of regionals, the initiative could end up influencing what’s seen on legit stages around the country in 2014-15.

Samuel French, one of the legit industry’s major licensors of theatrical titles, publishes the playwright’s work, while Roth, the commercial producer who launched a licensing arm last year, has produced or ponied up enhancement funds for five of Busch’s plays, including “Tale,” “The Divine Sister” and “Die Mommie Die.” She also plans to provide monetary enhancement for an upcoming Primary Stages production of a new play by the writer, she said.

Samuel French, meanwhile, plans to re-publish its Busch plays with new covers and also offer them all in a complete-works bundle, with the 18 plays currently in the catalog (including “Vampire Lesbians of Sodom,” “Psycho Beach Party” and “Olive and the Bitter Herbs”) joined by a couple of previously unpublished plays, “Pardon My Inquisition” and “Theodora: She-Bitch of Byzantium.”

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The backers of “30 Years of Charles Busch” also expect other pro theaters and amateur troupes to stage Busch titles during the season-long fete, and anticipate including them in some of the initiative’s promotions.

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