We are delighted you will be performing Considering Matthew Shepard! All performances are required to be registered with Conspirare and ASCAP to fulfill needed printed program and performance licenses. **High schools are not required to register with ASCAP.**
Please note the following steps to ensure that all required permissions are obtained. We recommend you allow 8 weeks prior to performance date to secure all permissions. Failure to obtain the required permission and follow through may jeopardize other ensembles’ ability to perform this work.
**REQUIRED** Steps for Performing Considering Matthew Shepard
1. Register your performance using the form below.
- Upon registration, Curtis Brown, LTD will contact you to arrange required performance permissions and royalties for movements with poetry authored by Lesléa Newman.
- If you have a first edition of the score, we will provide an alternate text for the “Thank You” movement that does not require additional registration.
- If you will be performing the “Thank You” movement with text by W.S. Merwin, you will need to secure performance permission from the Wylie Agency Permissions Department. Provide all information as requested in the musical composition section.
- Register your performance with ASCAP following your normal process. The ASCAP Work ID for Considering Matthew Shepard is 890644093.
2. Prepare your printed program.
- Performers are required to include the text credits (including the Introduction to October Mourning: A Song for Matthew Shepard) in the printed program. This is not optional and failure to comply may mean other ensembles will not be able to secure performance rights.
- You may download the complete credits here: CMS Credits October Mourning Intro for Directors Updated 2018. Please remember the entire contents of credits in this document must be included.
- You are required to obtain permission to reprint the introduction to October Mourning: A Song for Matthew Shepard and can obtain permission from Janella Angeles.
- Upon registration, we will provide a word version of the entire libretto and credits to make it as easy as possible to fulfill this requirement.
Sheet Music Information
Scores are available for purchase from your favorite music dealer and can be previewed here. The full score and set of parts are available either as a digital download or as a print product. The print product is catalogue no. 285746 and can be purchased from any retailer — Hal Leonard does not sell direct. The score can be purchased as a digital download from Sheet Music Direct or from any major retailer like JW Pepper. Both options are the updated score and parts.
Libretto Reprint Permissions
If you will print the libretto, you must obtain the following permissions:
Secure reprint permission for poems from October Mourning: A Song for Matthew Shepard from Janella Angeles. Movements that include text from October Mourning: A Song for Matthew Shepard include:
- The Fence (before)
- The Fence (that night)
- A Protestor
- The Fence (one week later)
- The Fence (after)
- The Wind
If you are using the W.S. Merwin version of “Thank You”, you must obtain reprint permission for the poem “Thanks”. This is handled by Penguin Random House.
- NOTE: “Thanks” is from THE RAIN IN THE TREES by W. S. Merwin. Copyright © 1988. Published by Knopf; 1 edition (March 12, 1988)
Elliott Forrest directed the PBS version of the work, as well as serving as co-director of the Conspirare tour. In addition, he designed the projections for both.
He is able to make the visuals available to you as a Mac-based Keynote File, along with a cue script and tech specs on how to use them. The images include pictures of Matthew, Aaron, Russell, Wyoming landscapes, loops, video, and titles of each of the movements.
The visual package is available for a licensing fee of $250. Please contact Elliott Forrest to purchase the visuals.
If you have any questions, or just want to talk about the projections and staging, feel free to contact Elliott Forrest directly.
Phone: (914) 260-1031
Michael Dennis Browne worked with Craig Hella Johnson as the librettist of Considering Matthew Shepard. He is available and would be happy to talk with you and your singers about any aspects of Considering Matthew Shepard, including his collaborative work on the libretto and the challenges of addressing this anguished story. If you are planning a performance in the upper mid–west area, Michael Dennis Browne welcomes you to be in touch with details about your performance.
Cathy Renna is a longtime LGBTQ activist who has been connected with the Shepard case since 1998, when she was dispatched to Laramie on October 7, 1997, while working at GLADD to assist in dealing with the media coverage of Matt’s murder. She subsequently attended the trials and has worked with Matt’s friends and family, and now the Foundation, since. She is an integral part of the work around the Laramie Project, working with countless productions and now with Conspirare and their extraordinary work, Considering Matthew Shepard, as a resource and expert working with productions and in facilitating talkbacks and media and community outreach as appropriate.
You can see more here in her TedX Talk about Matt about her experience and deep connections to the work and this case in particular.