About Alli Marshall
Alli Marshall is the arts section editor at Mountain Xpress. She's lived in Asheville for more than 20 years and loves live music, visual art, fiction and friendly dogs. Alli is the winner of the 2016 Thomas Wolfe Fiction Prize and the author of the novel "How to Talk to Rockstars," published by Logosophia Books. Follow me @alli_marshall

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13 thoughts on “No steppin’ into the Twilight Zone this weekend

  1. Jan Powell

    Thanks BreBro…You made me spit coffee though my nose this morning. Very, very funny! Copyright was intended to support the artists who created the material and then support the heirs of such artists for a limited amount of time after the artists death then after expiration provide fodder for other aspiring artists coming along after. This will make sense to anyone with a brain. I suggest that disgruntled heirs go out and create their own art to copyright and make a living from. In the meantime we must respect material in copyright and not just assume that what’s out there is ours to take. Hey, a little research is always a good idea.

  2. John B

    I knew this would happen to Dark Horse sooner or later. I went to see Last Supper -LOVED IT!- and found out they swiped it right from the film. I remember because I’ve searched for a way to do Last Supper for years – only, there is no play. Just the movie. Never entered my mind that I should just rip off the writer.

    Don’t get me wrong, I loved the play but the idea that these guys weren’t going to get shut down sooner or later is just wishful thinking.

  3. Judging from the awesome preparedness of their website and the awesomely small image that the Xpress felt the need to stretch to uselessness, I am not horribly surprised that they couldn’t figure their way through all the myriad complications of actually securing the rights to a performance before, you know, actually scheduling it, casting it, rehearsing it and advertising it.

    Did I leave anything out? Oh, right. Copyright law.

    Does anyone know what the actual complications are or are we just left to believe that Rod Serling’s estate pooped on Asheville’s fun? Was the play solely comprised of Serling pieces? Does the Serling Enterprise just own everything with the words [i]Twilight Zone[/i] attached?

    Dear jumping FSM I hope those italics tags worked. No preview here in hardcore blog land, that is for sure.

    Help me!

  4. as an actor who was involved with this production, i can speak to some of the questions.
    a local person contacted CBS directly and informed them of our little production. obviously, once the legal department is alerted, they must follow-through, and we received a cease and desist order.
    funny enough, another theatre company on the west coast did “the twilight zone” 4 or so years ago when paramount still owned the rights, and they actually helped them promote for their event. CBS does not allow the purchase or use of “the twilight zone” regardless of the life it would breathe into it, so were were told we couldn’t perform, even if free of charge.
    were we aware of the copyright laws? sure. are there ways around them? absolutely, and from here-on-out, we will comply with our future productions.
    we were temporarily quieted, but we’ve not given up.

  5. DWE

    All that this production was, to CBS and Carole Serling, was free publicity. Such an event, as staged (one weekend of three shows in a small theater), would have resulted in a win-win scenario. Dark Horse would have notched another show and promoted art and culture in the area (good for tourism, good for business …good for Asheville) and CBS would have recieved publicity and sparked interest in the re-runs and DVD sales. Instead, following traditional thought, CBS moved to stop it. If Dark Horse continued, CBS would have invested more money to stop it than was involved in the show (production costs and gate revenue). A lose-lose situation. If the show was a lengthy run in a big theater, sure, make the effort to stop it. But CBS denies any use for any situation … save re-runs on TV or big budget movies. The coming business models will revolve around making money off of the idea of FREE. Google, Facebook, Myspace, YouTube and many up and coming bands do it. Ideally, you own it, but fighting for that ideal will cost more than you can make in such a tight-fisted world.

  6. HFL

    to mat c: Dark Horse Theatre surely researched their production and copyright law before casting, rehearsing, etc. When one chooses to go outside of the boundaries of what is accepted, for arts sake, its called being subversive. What we are left to believe is that whistle-blowers will sound off regardless of art that seeks to honor the original production and makes no profit. We are left to believe is that billionaire corporations will take drastic measures to protect something that they never created in the first place.

  7. John B

    Anybody want to speak to Last Supper? Was the writer notified then as well?

  8. HFL: Doing episodes of [i]The Twilight Zone[/i] is hardly subversive theatre. It is a conservative move – a safe bet. One designed to bring in plenty of paying customers who would pay ten bucks to see elephants farting if it were called [i]The Twilight Zone[/i]. So please don’t insult anyone’s intelligence by claiming that this is anything more than a case of a theatre company getting caught with their pants down while trying to fleece some startup cash to prop up a fledging business idea.

    You want to do something subversive? Theatrical? Both?

    http://www.subversivetheatre.org/productions/index.htm

    Maybe you should take notes.

    (props to the Xpress for fixing the image up there.)

  9. J. Ray

    If CBS wants to protect what it considers to be its own intellectual property, they can and should, but the cost of such an enterprise should be on their own shoulders. Dark Horse Theatre was threatened by CBS with courtrooms and law officers, public institutions.
    I personally have credible reasons to believe CBS hurt everyone, including themselves, when they bullied Dark Horse. These are bad laws. Why should every one of us be forced to pay for their enforcement?

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