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All Arts Alliance productions of ‘Pippin’ canceled after board learns rights to script, music were never acquired

+A+flier+advertises+the+musical+%E2%80%9CPippin.%E2%80%9D+Arts+Alliance+canceled+on+Friday+all+productions+of+the+musical+after+learning+the+organization+did+not+receive+the+licensing+rights+to+produce+it%2C+executive+director+Andrew+Restieri+said.
 A flier advertises the musical “Pippin.” Arts Alliance canceled on Friday all productions of the musical after learning the organization did not receive the licensing rights to produce it, executive director Andrew Restieri said.

A flier advertises the musical “Pippin.” Arts Alliance canceled on Friday all productions of the musical after learning the organization did not receive the licensing rights to produce it, executive director Andrew Restieri said.

(Allie Goulding/Daily Senior Staffer)

(Allie Goulding/Daily Senior Staffer)

A flier advertises the musical “Pippin.” Arts Alliance canceled on Friday all productions of the musical after learning the organization did not receive the licensing rights to produce it, executive director Andrew Restieri said.

Erica Snow, Campus Editor

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Hours before its opening performance Friday, Arts Alliance canceled all productions of the musical “Pippin” after learning the organization did not receive the licensing rights to produce it, executive director Andrew Restieri said.

Restieri would not comment on how the cast obtained copies of the script and music to rehearse for the show.

The Communication senior said the Arts Alliance board applied for a contract from the licensing agency Music Theatre International in May.

“We went through every normal step that we go through,” he said. “We did exactly what we always do, so it didn’t occur to me that there could’ve been a problem.”

The Arts Alliance board is responsible for applying for rights to produce a musical, Restieri said. Normally, after the license application is processed, MTI sends a production contract to the board, which is then signed by its faculty adviser, he said. Then, Restieri said, the signed contract and a check are given to the Student Organization Finance Office.

However, a signed contract for the show was never sent to MTI, Restieri said.

MTI licensing representative Nathanael McClure declined to comment, saying MTI does not disclose details about specific legal contracts.

SOFO manager Janet Hansen also declined to comment.

Restieri said he could not say what went wrong because “on (their) end, everything was fine.”

He said he was devastated when he knew Arts Alliance had to cancel the show, which was “heartbreaking” for the artists involved.

“I am trying not to place blame anywhere because I don’t think that’s productive,” Restieri said. “I think there are measures being put in place to make sure that this never happens again to any student group.”

Jamie Joeyen-Waldorf, the show’s producer, said she was making opening night gifts for team members when she received the news of the show’s cancellation. The Communication senior said it was difficult to inform her production team of the cancellation because they would not be able to showcase their hard work to a live audience.

Arts Alliance hosted auditions, cast the show and rehearsed under the impression that it had obtained rights to produce the show, Joeyen-Waldorf said.

She said the situation was disappointing because it was beyond anyone’s control.

“There are just so many things that no one knew and it was no one’s fault,” Joeyen-Waldorf said. “It’s easy to blame SOFO or MTI, and I think there’s definitely some fault on both companies, but it’s no one person’s fault. It’s easy to try to channel your disappointment and frustration at whoever you think was the cause of it happening.”

Restieri said moving forward, he wants to be a resource for those involved with the show.

“My priority right now is supporting this team,” he said. “I, as a leader, feel a tremendous amount of responsibility for making sure I’m transparent and open to questions and comments and criticism about all of this.”

Joeyen-Waldorf said she took a while to process the news. Ironically, the production process for the show, which was set to be performed in Shanley Pavilion, went smoothly until opening night, she said.

The performance isn’t always the “end goal” for cast and crew members, Joeyen-Waldorf said, adding that her team still benefited from the production process.

“I’d like to think that everyone on the process still took something away from it and that we’re all better people for having done it,” Joeyen-Waldorf said. “The fact that we didn’t have performances doesn’t take away the time we had to learn things on the process and everything that we had.”

This story was updated at 3:55 p.m. to clarify that Andrew Restieri was devastated when he knew Arts Alliance had to cancel the show.

Email: ericasnow2019@u.northwestern.edu
Twitter: @ericasnoww

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