Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Theater Company Deals With Mike Daisey Script

Shortly before last weekend's controversy involving Mike Daisey and This American Life, Daisey had released the text of his show The Agony and The Ecstasy of Steve Jobs online under a Creative Commons license.  

This made other groups,or solo artists, able to perform the piece anywhere, anytime, for free.  It also gave anybody doing the show license to use the text in almost whatever way they wanted.

I was wondering what was going to happen to all of the people who were planning to perform the piece.  

Codey Daigle found himself in just that position, and he has a post about it on 2AMT:

We decided on a four-performance run as quickly as possible: opening night was set for March 17. Our thoughts: “Being current is part of the way we sell the show, so let’s stay as current as possible. Let’s open the thing before Daisey finished his run at the Public.” I’d perform it as a reading, the tech would be minimal, so we could compress the time from idea to opening without much worry.
And anyway, it was the script that was the event. We wanted people to focus on the script.
On March 16, the day before we opened, we got what we wanted. NPR retracted their “This American Life” airing, citing fabrications in the script as a cause. The firestorm that ensued (that’s still churning on in some corners) is known – no need to detail it here – but while the large part of the theatre world was spinning on its broader implications for the theatre and journalism and ethics and the truth, we had a very different problem.
What in the hell are we going to do with our show?

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