Amateur theatres

How to proceed

Application for an authorisation

Performances of a work by amateur theatres and school pupils require the authorisation from SSA even if the admission is free. Such authorisation is usually valid for an integral (unabridged and unaltered) performance of a work within a specific time frame and for a defined territory.
Application form for an authorisation

SSA passes the application for an authorisation to the authors and suggests a remuneration in line with the basic tariff. The authors are free to assert their own conditions, be it with respect to the level of the remuneration or the actual scope of the authorisation or other characteristic features relating to the event. Translations or adaptations of a work also require an authorisation.
Some authors have authorised SSA to grant authorisations without their prior consent.

Practical checklist
  • Check whether the work is protected under copyright or whether it is “free” (the term of protection is 70 years). If the work is “free”, i.e. in the so-called public domain, you do not have to undertake any further steps. A work may, however, be free in its original (“pre-existing”) version, while translations and adaptations are protected.
  • Obtain the authorisation from SSA as soon as possible (3 to 6 months before rehearsals begin).
  • Provide for a sufficient term of the authorisation and make sure the territorial scope of the authorisation would thus cover any potential foreign performances.
  • Indicate exactly which version of the work is used.
  • Describe, where applicable, any intended modifications and abridgements of the work.
  • Specify whether any other works or parts thereof shall be integrated (music, song lyrics, quotations).
Declaration of income

The relevant party in charge must declare their income by means of our form for the declaration of income within ten days after the end of the performance(s) to SSA.
SSA shall base its invoicing on this declaration of income.


In the case of tours and foreign performances it is sufficient to provide SSA with information on the venue and the date, as long as they are covered by the authorisation. Failing this, a new authorisation must be obtained. This principle shall also apply to tours abroad.