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A Lawyers Guide to Theatre Production

SKU: IP003
Total Credits
2.5 - 3
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Donald C. Farber has been practicing Entertainment Law for over 50 years. His vast experience in theatre resulted from his having to learn on the job. As a result, he wrote his first book on producing an Off-Broadway play. This course could easily take its title from that of his book, “From Option to Opening.” This course sets forth exactly what one must legally do to represent a play from beginning to end--that is from the Option to Opening. Along the way, after discussion of the Option, and the Literary Purchase Agreement, the agreements covering the relationship between the creative people and producers is covered as well as the producing entity, how the pie, that is the potential profits, are shared, what must be done to satisfy the securities laws, the importance of merger of rights, the difference between small performing rights and grand performing rights and the other myriad items that one faces in putting a play together. Many of the forms commonly used by attorneys working in theatre were created by Mr. Farber when he landed in "The Business" and had to create workable documents for a new burgeoning Off-Broadway scene. His practice expanded to teaching all over the United States and Canada. Whether you’re a specialist or novice, or are simply interested in this fascinating topic, this is a course you will enjoy.

Lecturer Bio

Donald C. Farber, Esq.

Donald C. Farber was born, raised and educated in Nebraska. He graduated from the University of Nebraska, receiving his B.S. in Law in 1948 and Juris Doctor in 1950. In April of 1950, he was elected to the Order of Coif, Honorary Law Society, for high academic achievement in law school.

Mr. Farber has an active theatrical practice in New York City and in other parts of the United States and the world. He represents many theatrical productions, actors, actresses, directors, producers, authors, theatre owners, repertory companies, and persons in every aspect of theatre, film and the other creative arts.

Mr. Farber is the author of seven books dealing with various business and legal aspects of theatre: (1) FROM OPTION TO OPENING, (2) PRODUCING ON BROADWAY, (3) ACTOR’S GUIDE: What You Should Know About The Contracts You Sign, (4) PRODUCING, FINANCING AND DISTRIBUTING FILM, (5) PRODUCING THEATRE: A Comprehensive Legal And Business Guide, which covers the business of producing theatre in all parts of the United States under all circumstances, and (6) THE FANTASTICKS, America’s Longest Running Play a complete story of the making of the musical play that Mr. Farber helped put together in 1960. Each of these books has received enthusiastic, rave reviews from all sources including VARIETY, THE LIBRARY JOURNAL, DANCE WORLD, SHOW BUSINESS and others. In fact, THE LIBRARY JOURNAL described PRODUCING ON BROADWAY as “one of the most important theatre books of this decade.”

Mr. Farber’s latest book, COMMON SENSE NEGOTIATION, The Art Of Winning Gracefully, is described by Kurt Vonnegut as “a celebration of practical nice manners and tough minded decency.”

He is the General Editor (Author of the two Theatre Volumes) of ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY CONTRACTS – Negotiating And Drafting Guide, ten volumes commissioned by Matthew Bender & Company, Inc. (published in 1986); which include forms and commentary on theatre, films, television, sports, art, music, internet and interactive media, and book publishing. The theatre volumes also include background forms and commentary on the London, England theatre scene. The volumes now published by the Lexis/Nexis Group are updated three times a year and are all now on CD.

Mr. Farber began his teaching career in 1970 at York University in Toronto, Canada when he conducted a three-day seminar for Canada’s leading theatre people. He was thereafter invited as a visiting professor to teach a course at York University for Arts Administration students during 1972 and 1973 at which time he commuted weekly to Toronto during the school terms. He has been a guest lecturer at the Drama Department at Brooklyn College and New York University.

He was the Chairman of the Practicing Law Institute Seminar on Theatre Law in 1972 and taught entertainment law at the Hofstra School of Law during the 1974-1975 term. In 1975, he was one of the featured speakers at the Iowa Arts Council Seminar and also at the Hofstra Institute for the Arts. He was on the faculty of The New School for Social Research from 1972 to 1994.

In 1982 he conceived of, organized and presented a three-day seminar on commercial theatre producing in New York city, the proceeds of which were donated to FEDAPT (Foundation for the Extension and Development of the American Professional Theatre), a not-for-profit tax-exempt corporation organized for the purpose of furthering theatre. A similar seminar was presented on Los Angeles in December, 1982 and repeated in New York City in March of 1983 and annually thereafter.

He also conceived of and planned an intensive course in theatre production for twenty-five highly qualified students participating in a three-hour session once a week for ten weeks. These programs have proven highly successful.

Mr. Farber is married to the former Ann Eis, who was a professor of Mathematics at the Brooklyn Campus of Long Island University. When she retired from teaching, she and Mr. Farber organized the Farber Literary Agency Inc., of which she is the President. They have two grown children, Patricia and Seth, and two grandchildren, Justin and Miranda.

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