(Alexandra Alter’s and Michael Paulson’s article appeared in The New York Times, 3/8; via Pam Green.)
The set for “To Kill a Mockingbird” at the Kavinoky Theater at D’Youville College in Buffalo being taken down last month after several theaters were forced to cancel their productions.CreditLibby March for The New York Times
“To Kill a Mockingbird” is proving to be an eventful legal drama. And not just in the theater.
Last month the producer Scott Rudin, seeking to protect the financial future of a new stage adaptation of the novel now running on Broadway, forced at least eight theaters around the country to cancelproductions of a 1970 stage version. Now the publisher of the earlier script says he will seek compensation and legal vindication.
“We feel horribly for those affected by the shameful bigfooting coming from Mr. Rudin,” Christopher Sergel III, president of Dramatic Publishing Company and the grandson of the author of the first adaptation, said.
Mr. Sergel said he would ask an arbitration tribunal to protect the ability of local theaters to stage his grandfather’s adaptation and to award damages of at least $500,000. He accused the estate of the “Mockingbird” author, Harper Lee, acting in concert with Mr. Rudin, of causing financial losses to Dramatic Publishing by making “false statements” to local theaters.
Photo: The New York Times