The creators of the Broadway production of “Urinetown! The Musical” have settled a lawsuit against the production team of a 2006 Chicago incarnation that allegedly included plagiarized staging choices from the Rialto original.
Chicago team, including director Tom Mullen, has agreed to pay an undisclosed sum to members of the Broadway version of “Urinetown,” which was staged by helmer John Rando, choreographer John Carrafa, lighting designer Brian MacDevitt and set designer Scott Pask, among others.
Creatives of “Urinetown” on the Rialto publicly accused the creators of the Chi production — as well as the production team from a separate but similar production in Akron, Ohio — of plagiarism in November 2006.
New York side of the dispute had the support of directors’ union the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers, which aimed to use the case to boost its longstanding argument for the establishment of a director’s copyright on certain staging choices.
The Dramatists Guild of America, which has taken a stance against such a copyright to protect revenues for its member scribes, swiftly touted an excerpt from a Department of Justice intervention in Mullen v. SSDC, et. al, which states “the Register denies that stage direction, as presented to the Copyright Office for registration, is copyrightable subject matter.”
No resolution has been announced in the suit against the Akron production team.