Friday
Jun 18 2010

Theater Law (2 units)

The theater is one of America's earliest entertainment industries and its legal and business structures differ significantly from those of the film, television, and music fields.

This comprehensive survey examines the unique customs and practices of this industry and the framework of laws governing it. After completing this course, practitioners will be equipped to identify and address the needs of the producers, authors, artists, craftspeople, and designers whose work is presented on the living stage.

COURSE OBJECTIVES - click to expand

  • At the completion of the Theater Law course, students will be able to:
  • draft an effective collaboration agreement between bookwriter, composer, and lyricist for a musical play;
  • prepare comments and revision requests to a typical play production agreement;
  • outline, draft, and negotiate employment agreements for creative personnel, such as Director, choreographer, dramaturg, musical director, and others;
  • identify and analyze common underlying rights situations, and advise clients accordingly;
  • evaluate the financial structures and business implications of traditional theatrical limited partnerships, and to cogently advise clients (whether investors, producers, authors, or otherwise), concerning the same; and
  • identify, contact and interview theatre professionals to gain insights into the customs, practices and challenges of the industry.

GRADING POLICY - click to expand

  • The grade in this course is based upon three 10 point multiple choice quizzes given at regular intervals throughout the course (each quiz counting for 5% -- for a total of 15% of your course grade), two research assignments and memos (each worth 5% -- for a total of 10% of your course grade); an industry interview and report/memo worth 15% of your course grade; an open-book final exam (for a total of 60% of your course grade).
  • The multiple choice quiz questions require the student to show knowledge of the applicable statutory and case law and to apply that law to a specific fact situation.
  • The Module 2 research assignment and memo is evaluated on and graded as follows: identification and selection of relevant cases (20%); demonstration of understanding of legal issues implicated (30%); demonstration of understanding of the holdings/rule of law (30%); and writing: organization, clarity, style, and overall impact (20%).
  • The Module 5 research assignment and memo is evaluated on and graded as follows: application of the assignment instructions (20%); demonstration of understanding of the issues and concerns of the clients (30%); demonstration of understanding of the applicable rules of law (30%); and writing: organization, clarity, style, and overall impact (20%).
  • The Module 9 industry interview and report/memo is evaluated on and graded as follows: application of the assignment instructions [section of interviewee(s)] (20%); substance of the interview: cogency and relevance of questions asked; demonstration of understanding of issues, context, etc.; interpretation, conclusions drawn, etc. (60%); and writing: organization, clarity, style, and overall impact (20%).
  • The final examination is open-book. “Open-book” means that students may use any of the assigned course materials as well as their own notes and outlines that they have created themselves from course materials. The final examination is comprise of one or more essays which are weighted as follows: 25% for identification of the factual and legal issues; 25% for correct statement(s) of rule of law; 25% on analysis, conclusion, and/or recommendation; and 25% on writing: organization, clarity, style and over impact.