Theater Follies

Spotted via the Contracts Prof Blog:

Two small non-Equity theater companies in Philadelphia planned to produce a version of “Grease” — set in an all-girls high school. The set-up was that female actors, playing high school girls, would play all the roles — Danny Zuko would still be Danny Zuko, but played by a girl.

The Samuel French Company, which licenses the play, was not amused. The show’s director said:

“No director worth their salt follows the stage directions to a T,” she said. “I think there are some plays where you are bound to follow the stage directions, but this is not one of them. I didn’t know they can pull the plug on me for having someone’s wig fall off. If we actually were a high school, we’d be fine. The fact that we’re pretending to be a high school doing it, we’re not allowed. It’s ridiculous!”

Meanwhile, in response to the threat, the director and her team

have penned a substitute musical titled “Grease and Desist.” Loosely based on musicals of the 1950s, “Grease and Desist,” Distefano said, “is in direct response to being shut down. We wrote it in less than 24 hours. We use the same props. It’s got a little satire and a little anger in it.”

2 thoughts on “Theater Follies

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  2. How much of Samuel French’s beef with the production is the “you overstepped the bounds of intellectual property” and how much might be a response keeping with ancient theatre traditions: where men play women’s parts, but not (apparently) the other way around?

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