Music Theatre International has filed suit against Theaterpalooza Community Theater Productions Inc. for reportedly failing to pay licensing fees at least 16 musicals.
In the suit, MTI claims that Theaterpalooza, which provides musical theater classes and camps in Ashburn, Virg., Leesburg, Virg., and Hagerstown, Maryland, has not paid for the licensing of musicals since 2015, with titles including “Matilda,” “Seussical,” and “Little Shop of Horrors.” MTI is seeking damages including profits from the productions to which it has exclusive licensing rights and an injunction against continued copyright infringement.
MTI would typically receive $1,500 to $2,500 per production at a venue such as Theaterpalooza, where children put on a final performance at the end of sessions for a paying audience.
The licensing company has sent several requests to Theaterpalooza asking for payment, but has not received any, according to the complaint.
The action came as Theaterpalooza is reportedly promoting its summer sessions including “Annie,” “Mamma Mia!” and “Hairspray.”
“Since our mission is to promote and facilitate the performance of musical theatre, we do not like to take formal legal action, and usually we do not need to do so. But it is unfair to our authors and the thousands of customers who work hard in making contributions to our common cultural heritage and enrichment to allow unlicensed, repeat infringements of those valuable properties,” Drew Cohen, president and chief executive of MTI, said in the press release.