The Playgoer: is directing "intellectual property"?

Custom Search

Monday, January 30, 2006

is directing "intellectual property"?

Personally, I say yes. But it's a thorny issue, to be sure. And Jesse Green's piece yesterday--of extraordinary length and depth for "Arts & Leisure" these days--manages to get at the complexity in a nicely balanced way. Definitely a must-read for directors (who will be encouraged), playwrights (who might be horrified), and anyone interested in the morphing of the theatrical divisions of labor. At least among the set successful enough to bother going to court in the first place!

I do wonder, though, if Green isn't guilty of fanning some flames here, stirring playwright and director against each other more than necessary. In the Mantello/"Love, Valor, Compassion" case, for instance, I believe Terrence McNally was totally supportive of him. The real conflict of that case was between director and director. (Of course, some may see it as the big B'way director beating up on the little guy in regional.) I also think the real issue here will ultimately be not money but credit. Shouldn't it be workable one day for subsequent scripts or regional productions to bear some citation summing up the contributions of the original director?

One positive development of all this, noted in the article, is that Mantello's crusade did get Sam French and Dramatists to finally take all those annoying outdated stage directions out of their editions!

1 comment:

parabasis said...

Hey Playgoer...

if you're interested, I have a lengthy piece on this on my blog,

I agree in that I think people are being a little bit alarmist about all of this, especially the head of the Dramatist's Guild, who is doing theater, directors and writers a great disservice.