David Adjmi 's new play 3C, which recently closed at the Rattlestick Playwrights Theater, has been under a lot of scrutiny recently, after 'Three's Company' lawyers accused the show of infringing on copyright laws. Dramatists Guild president Stephen Schwartz released the following statement on the issue:
We of the Dramatists Guild of America wholeheartedly support playwright David Adjmi who has been facing pressure to silence his play “3C”. His work is a darkly comic parody of the sitcom “Three’s Company”, intended to critique the show and the social mores underlying it. The copyright owners of that work have written a “cease and desist” letter, which would, in effect, require him to stick the play in a drawer forever. But works of parody are protected under the “fair use” doctrine of copyright law, because such works serve as valuable social criticism. 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. So we stand with Mr. Adjmi, and are in discussions with him to see what assistance he might require. We hope others will show their support for David as well. Because, by so doing, we demonstrate that culture is too important to be controlled solely by the corporations that claim to own it.
The war in Vietnam is over and Brad, an ex-serviceman, lands in L.A. to start a new life. When he winds up trashed in Connie and Linda’s kitchen after a wild night of partying, the three strike a deal for an arrangement that has hilarious and devastating consequences for everyone. Or are they non-consequences? Inspired by 1970s sitcoms, 1950s existentialist comedy, Chekhov, and Disco anthems, 3C is a terrifying yet amusing look at a culture that likes to amuse itself, even as it teeters on the brink of ruin.
The cast of 3C included Kate Buddeke (Bug, Gypsy with Bernadette Peters, Death of a Salesman with Brian Dennehy), Bill Buell (Equus, The History Boys, Picasso at the Lapin Agile), Hannah Cabell (A Man for All Seasons at Roundabout, Compulsion at Public Theater), Eddie Cahill (“CSI: New York,” “Friends”), Anna Chlumsky (HBO’s “Veep,” My Girl, Unconditional at Public Theater/LAByrinth), and Jake Silbermann (“As the World Turns”).
Photo Credit: Genevieve Rafter-Keddy