“Hamilton” creator Lin-Manuel Miranda on Thursday called a Texas church’s production of the hit Broadway musical “illegal” and “unauthorized.”
“Grateful to all of you who reached out about this illegal, unauthorized production. Now lawyers do their work,” Miranda wrote on Twitter.
The Dramatists Guild, taking up Miranda’s case, condemned the Aug. 5 and Aug. 6 performances at Door Christian Fellowship Ministries, a nondenominational Christian church in McAllen, Texas, which allegedly changed the lyrics and added text to the show, performing without a license.
A pastor at the church initially said the Hamilton team had approved “our version” of the musical, which reportedly included Christian themes and a sermon at the end of the show listing homosexuality as a “struggle” alongside alcohol and drugs.
Door McAllen claimed in a video that they had obtained a license to perform and that the production was only chided by the “Hamilton” team when the church posted footage online.
“We hold up the Door McAllen Church’s brazen infringement to shine a light on the problematic pattern of some theatrical organizations performing authors’ work without a license and rewriting the text without authorial consent,” the Dramatists Guild wrote in a statement.
“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.”
In the original script, one of the musical’s characters sings, “What is a legacy? It’s planting seeds in a garden you never get to see. I wrote some notes at the beginning of a song someone will sing for me.”
According to a video, Door McAllen changed the lyric to: “What is a legacy? It’s knowing that you repented and accepted the gospel of Jesus Christ that sets men free. You sent your sinless son of man on Calvary to die for me.”