Anna Chlumsky, Kate Buddeke, Jake Silbermann, 
Hannah Cabell in 3C
(© Joan Marcus)
Anna Chlumsky, Kate Buddeke, Jake Silbermann, Hannah Cabell in 3C
(© Joan Marcus)
The Dramatists Guild of America has released a statement in support of playwright David Adjmi and his recently produced dark comedy 3C. The play, which ran in June and July at Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, has come under fire in recent weeks after lawyers for the television sitcom Three's Company filed a cease-and-desist letter, saying the play had infringed on their copyright by lifting key elements from the series.

In the statement by The Dramatists Guild, signed by president Stephen Schwartz, the organization states "Corporate interests may prefer not to have their properties targeted for mockery, but artists have the right to do so, regardless of the best bullying tactics that corporate profits can buy. And more than having the right to do so, artists have an obligation to critique the vestments of our culture." The organization is also working with Adjmi to "see what assistance he might require."

According to reports, Adjmi agreed not to have the play's run extended, have it published, or allow any future productions in order to avoid any further legal confrontation. The work was originally a co-production of Rattlestick, piece by piece productions, and Rising Phoenix Repertory.

A letter and petition in support of the play, maintaining that it is a satirical work, and therefore should be recognized as protected speech under the First Amendment, has been written and circulated by playwright Jon Robin Baitz, and is now being managed by Theatre Communications Group. The letter currently has over 500 signatories, including Tony Kushner,Stephen Sondheim, Aaron Sorkin, Martha Plimpton, Lynn Nottage, Sarah Ruhl, John Patrick Shanley, Joe Mantello, as well as representatives from New Dramatists, The Drama League, The Public Theater, Lincoln Center Theater,New York Theatre Workshop, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Rattlestick, The Goodman Theatre, and Playwrights Horizons, among others.

To read the complete statement from The Dramatists Guild, click here.

To read Baitz's letter, click here.