As previously reported, Samuel French, Inc., representing the wishes of the Harold Pinter estate, placed a restriction on all press reviews for The Room, scheduled to run through Feb. 14. The Wooster Group was also informed that it did not have permission for a planned return engagement in New York or subsequent Paris run. The Pinter work made its New York debut in October last year without the restrictions.
In the wake of the ban, The American Theatre Critics Association released a statement saying it would not recognize the "right of any group, including the licensing company, author or estate, to restrict coverage of a public event." The organization maintained that arts criticism is journalism; therefore, reviewing the public event would be at the discretion of writers and their editors.
Wm. F. Hirschman, chair of the ATCA executive committee, called the restrictions "objectionable behavior." Mark Murphy, executive director of Redcat, has similarly called them "highly unusual and puzzling."
Prior to premiering at Redcat, The Wooster Group presented The Room in sold-out, advanced showings at The Performing Garage in New York, Oct. 28-Nov. 21, 2015. The production is helmed by Wooster's director Elizabeth LeCompte. Billed as a "comedy of menace," it is the playwright's first play, penned when he was just 27 years old. To purchase tickets to the Los Angeles debut visit redcat.org.