Hamilton creator and star Lin-Manuel Miranda has spoken out following an illegal and unauthorized production of the Tony-winning musical at Texas church The Door McAllen, which, along with presenting the musical without the legal permission to do so, changed lyrics to include biblical references and closed performances with a sermon containing anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric.
In a two-Tweet thread, Miranda calls the production "illegal" and "unauthorized," indicating that further legal troubles are ahead for the church. "Now lawyers do their work."
For more info on your rights as a writer, https://t.co/gLdgi76Rh6. -LMM— Lin-Manuel Miranda (@Lin_Manuel) August 10, 2022
Miranda goes on to share that writers can learn about their rights via the Dramatists Guild, attaching his first Tweet to a statement from the organization about the illegal production. "No writer's work, whether they are a student who has just written their first play, or Lin-Manuel Miranda, can be performed without their permission," reads the statement. "And it is never okay to change the words, lyrics, or notes without their express consent."
"Hamilton does not grant amateur or professional licenses for any stage productions and did not grant one to The Door Church," said Hamilton spokesperson Shane Marshall Brown in an earlier statement. "We issued a cease-and-desist letter for the unauthorized use of Hamilton's intellectual property, demanding the immediate removal of all videos and images from previous productions from the internet, including YouTube, TikTok, Facebook, Instagram, their own website, and elsewhere."
The church reportedly received the cease and desist letter August 6 after the August 5 performance was live-streamed to the church's YouTube channel. The Door McAllen was granted "limited permission" to perform its August 6 show under a series of stipulations, including a no videos or photos rule and the cancellation of all future performances. The Door McAllen's live-streamed production and trailer have been removed from YouTube, and no trace of the production can be found on its social media page. Door McAllen Pastor Roman Gutierrez claimed in a quote given to Dallas News that he had previously acquired legal permission to produce the show
Hamilton is directed by Thomas Kail with choreography by Andy Blankenbuehler. The show is produced by Jeffrey Seller, Sander Jacobs, Jill Furman, and The Public Theater.
The Tony-, Pulitzer-, and Olivier Award-winning musical was filmed live and released via Disney+ in 2020, featuring the entirety of the principal original cast, including Miranda in the title role.