Hit & Run

Brickbat: To Kill a School Play

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'To Kill a Mockingbird'
'To Kill a Mockingbird,' Universal

Schools and community theaters across the country are canceling productions of To Kill a Mockingbird after getting letters from theatrical producer Scott Rudin threatening them with lawsuits. Rudin is the producer of the new Broadway production based on the novel by Harper Lee. It's an entirely new play, written by Aaron Sorkin, not the one that has been performed by theater groups for years. Rudin claims the agreement between Lee's estate and the publisher of the older play forbids that play from being performed in much of the country while a "first-class dramatic play" based on the novel is running on Broadway or on tour. The dispute between the publisher and the estate hasn't been resolved, so Rudin's lawyers started sending out letters to groups performing the earlier play.