Posted on February 28, 2019 at 2:00 PM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek

Back in January, the New York Times reported that the producers of Aaron Sorkin’s To Kill a Mockingbird play had shut down a British performance of a different adaptation.

Now, the same legal threats are canceling community productions across the United States, from Buffalo, New York, to Oklahoma City.

As the Times explains it, a 1969 contract between Dramatic Publishing Company — which sells theaters the rights to put on Christopher Sergel’s adaptation — and Harper Lee forbids productions of Sergel’s play within twenty-five miles of certain-sized cities while “a ‘first-class dramatic play’ based on the novel is playing in New York or on tour.”

The producers of Sorkin’s version obviously believe they fit that description, and so does the Lee estate, which is backing the cease-and-desist letters.

(It’s an interesting twist since Lee’s estate had originally objected to Sorkin’s adaptation.)

Read the latest installment of the play drama in the New York Times.

Categories: Today in Books

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