GLOUCESTER (CBS) – The show will go on for a local theater company’s production of “To Kill A Mockingbird” that has been mired in a copyright battle.

The Mugford Street Players were prepared to put on 14 shows at the Marblehead Little Theatre starting Friday, but they received a letter from New York City lawyers ordering them to cancel.

“[It said] that we had to cancel by today or they would sue us in the amount of $150,000 for copyright infringement,” Players President John Fogle told WBZ-TV earlier this week.

To Kill A Mockingbird (WBZ-TV)

The attorneys said stage rights for the Broadway version of the Harper Lee novel had been acquired in 2015 and allowed the suppression of performances within 25 miles of a major metropolitan area like Boston.

But another local theater has stepped up. Productions producer Greg Mancusi-Ungaro tells WBZ-TV’s Anaridis Rodriguez that Christopher Griffith, managing director of the Gloucester Stage Company, has offered up his theater for the show.

Meanwhile, the troupe has been working with the lawyers in New York City and the Harper Lee Estate to secure a license for the performances. Twelve shows are now planned in Gloucester from March 29 through April 14.

“We are going to get to do our show!” Mancusi-Ungaro said. “What a turn of events.”

A New York Times report says at least eight theaters around the country, including one in Braintree, have been forced to cancel their performances after being threatened with a lawsuit.

Comments

Leave a Reply