Friday, December 01, 2017

Memories of theater past

Production photo, heavily Photoshopped by me from
the 2005 production of TAM LIN.
Nick Lowe as Tam Lin. He's now a big shot
at Marvel Comics and even hashis own Wikipedia page.

The QofF's costume is gorgeous. I
 hated that designer's elven costumes and redid them myself 
to her great resentment but I was very happy with the Queen's get-up.
The decision rendered by Judge Lewis Kaplan on the case of Edward Einhorn vs. Mergatroyd Productions is published in its entirety here.

This is the best part - the actual decision:
For the reasons stated above, and for the reasons stated in defendants' pre-trial memorandum of law, the Court should hold that Nancy McClernan is the sole author of
Tam Lin and that the Plaintiff has no ownership interest in the copyright of her play, nor any independent ownership in its stage directions.
The decision was rendered April 21, 2006 but the Einhorns dragged their heels, abetted by a dysfunctional US Copyright Office and so it took another five years before the Copyright Office de-registered Einhorn's fraudulent "blocking and choreography" copyright.

Ironically, in spite of the fact that so much time and money was spent on my play TAM LIN it was never produced again after 2005. 

This is partly Edward Einhorn's fault of course, but not completely. For one thing it was a ten-character play and I don't have the resources to produce it. Jonathan Flagg was footing the bill as producer in 2005. But also I am now ashamed of the "bed trick" in the middle of the play. It's there because TAM LIN was greatly influenced by the plays of Shakespeare and he uses the bed trick in MEASURE FOR MEASURE and ALL'S WELL THAT ENDS WELL. But really, the "bed trick" is rape and I don't want to do it. Even though the audiences loved it.

But it drives much of the plot of TAM LIN and if I take it out, I have to re-write the play.

And come to think of it, Tam Lin was basically magicked into being a sex slave for the Queen of the Fairies which is also rape. This isn't presented as a good thing but still. TAM LIN is just too rapey for me to want to produce it now.

TAM LIN at this point is for me a learning exercise in playwriting - a very expensive learning exercise thanks to Edward Einhorn. It would have been cheaper to go to the Yale School of Drama. 

But directing in 2005 also convinced me that directing theater is not so mentally challenging and mystical as the theater world and directors themselves would have you believe. It's mostly about having a good script, good actors, reasonable lighting and making sure the audience can see what's going on.

I'm not saying I'm the greatest director and have never made mistakes. But I think my direction work is certainly serviceable by this point. Not that I would refuse to have another person direct my work, but other than Olive Butler nobody has every impressed me with their work. And unless I think they're great I don't want to risk working with them. I have issues with theater directors for obvious reasons.