Church of Texas that played ‘Hamilton’ without permission to pay damages


The Door McAllen, a South Texas church that staged an unauthorized version of “Hamilton,” has apologized to the “Hamilton” crew and will pay damages, it said in a new release.
(Photo credit: Carlo Allegri/Reuters)

(CNN) – The Texas church that staged an unauthorized production of the musical ‘Hamilton’ and changed several lines to include references to Jesus and Christianity has apologized to ‘Hamilton’ creator Lin -Manuel Miranda and the team behind the musical for its staging.

The Door also said it would “destroy all video or sound recordings and images” of the unauthorized performances and rehearsals.

“Door Christian Fellowship McAllen Church has not sought or received a license from the producers or creators of ‘Hamilton’ to produce, stage, reproduce or modify any part of ‘Hamilton’; nor have we requested prior permission to alter Lin-Manuel Miranda’s work by changing music, lyrics, removing songs and adding dialogue,” the church said in its statement.

The statement comes weeks after the official “Hamilton” team sent the church a cease and desist letter, which allowed the church to go ahead with its second scheduled performance, but requested that the program is not broadcast live, recorded or shared on social media. media. “Hamilton” is not available for licensing to theater companies, although licensed professional productions are still running on Broadway and touring the country.

Under copyright law, churches are permitted to perform copyrighted music during church services, but this exemption does not permit the streaming or distribution of such performances and does not extends to any other public performance outside of a religious service.

“I acknowledge as pastor of the church that I have an obligation and responsibility to follow the law and educate our community on these protocols,” reads the unsigned letter. The church’s website identifies its senior pastor as Roman Gutierrez.

The Door will never stage their version of “Hamilton” again and will ask their members to erase all media from the production. He will also pay damages, according to his statement.

“Hamilton,” for its part, will donate all damages paid by The Door to the South Texas Equality Project, a coalition of organizations that support LGBTQ Texans in the Rio Grande Valley, where McAllen is located, said said “Hamilton” spokesman Shane Marshall Brown. CNN Wednesday.

The Door did not immediately respond to CNN’s request for comment.

‘Hamilton’ Officials Say They Didn’t Know Door’s Lyrics Changed

When the “Hamilton” team allowed The Door to continue with its second performance, they were unaware “of any significant changes to the show or the fact that there would be a sermon at the end,” said “Hamilton” spokesman Brown earlier this month.

The Door’s production of “Hamilton” included multiple references to Jesus, according to pictures of the first live-streamed performance which was curated online and shared by writer and atheist advocate Hemant Mehta.

In one clip, a character appears to be reading the Bible as Alexander Hamilton is in crisis. The character tells him that “God is the only one who can help you right now”.

In another clip, an actor playing Eliza Schuyler sings, “My hope is in Jesus. If you could give it a chance today, that would be enough.

Other footage shared by Mehta reportedly shows The Door pastor Victor Lopez addressing the audience on stage with the “Hamilton” behind him. In the clip, Lopez says, “Maybe you struggle with alcohol, drugs, homosexuality. Maybe you struggle with other things in life, your finances, whatever, your relationships – God can help you tonight.

“Hamilton” creator Miranda is a strong supporter of the LGBTQ community.

“The ‘Hamilton’ family stands for tolerance, compassion, inclusivity and certainly LGBTQ+ rights,” Brown said in a statement to CNN earlier this month, adding that the production would determine further actions by depending on the changes made to the scenario.

Earlier this month, Miranda thanked the Dramatists Guild, a professional association of theater writers who condemned the production of The Door, and the fans who brought the musical to the team’s attention “Hamilton “.

“Thank you to all of you who communicated with this illegal and unauthorized production. Now the lawyers are doing their job,” he said. tweeted. “And forever grateful to the @dramatistsguild, who have the backs of writers everywhere, whether it’s your first play or your fiftieth.”

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See our previous coverage of this issue.

‘Hamilton’ team responds to unauthorized performance by church in Texas


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