Updated: 8/16/15; 18:58:11

pedantic nuthatch
Life in a Northern Virginia suburb of Washington, D.C. B.M.A.T.C., and Etruscan typewriter erasers. Blogged by David Gorsline.

Sunday, 29 January 2006

How can a director's contribution to the staging of a play be protected as a creative work? Jesse Green reports on the current legal state of affairs, which threatens to get very messy.

[Playwright John] Weidman, who worked with [director Joe] Mantello on the recent Broadway revival of Assassins—and who, in gratitude for his directorial contributions to the show, offered him a share of the authors' royalty, which Mr. Mantello declined—is more diplomatic. The director is an interpretive artist, he said, often doing brilliant work. For his work to be systematically copied by someone else, he agrees, is "manifestly unfair."

But that does not mean, he argued, that the director owns his work, any more than an actor does. Not everything creative is copyrightable.

posted: 11:42:21 AM  

Leta annotates the Fourth Amendment.

posted: 12:43:45 AM  

We're halfway through the run, and I feel pretty darn good about this evening's performance. Not technically flawless yet, but I'm getting there. A few fumble-tongue lapses of concentration, and I'm anticipating a couple of things that I shouldn't.

I'm a little surprised by some audience reactions, but not much. In the meetinghouse scene, when Mary Warren turns on John Proctor (a situation that Randall McMurphy might call a "pecking party") and Danforth (me) charges downstage to get between the two of them, saying "He bid you do the Devil's work?" there is sometimes a scattering of giggles. I think some of our (more liberal?) patrons can't quite handle the high sanctimony that's going on, or the irony of Proctor's reversal of fortune.

Joshua is a class act. He is still tinkering with some of his readings of Proctor, and this is to the good. (Remember that a typical community theater complete run of seven or ten shows is about the same number of performances that a larger-scale professional production will devote just to previews.) He's taking notes from Andy. He told me today that he likes working with me in our scenes, that he feels connected to me. And he's organizing cast gifts to the production staff, an obligation that I always try to divert to someone else.

And we have the obligatory production romance brewing...

posted: 12:01:22 AM  

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