How to make sure your production doesn't get shut down.
In the past few months, the news has carried several stories about plays and musicals being “shut down” by authors. In this post, I'll explain why, and also how savvy producers can avoid a similar fate for their productions.
Shows ordered to close by authors
In June, at least two productions were forced to close right after opening. A produxtion of David Mamet's “Oleana”,at Milwaukee's Alchemist theatre was shut down after the author and his representatives learned that a lead female role was being played by a man. And, a much anticipated production of “Hands on a Hardbody” at Theatre Under the Stars in Texas found itself shut down abruptly after one of the authors attended a performance and discovered that the order of scenes and songs had been changed by the production's director. But this isn't a brand new phenomenon. In 2009, I wrote about a situation in which Stephen Sondheim ordered an Australian production of “Company” closed unless the unauthorized “cuts” were restored. And last year, I wrote this blog post on the subject. In cases like this, producers risk total loss of their investments in the productions. The sad fact is, it's all easily avoided.