Piven Monologues Receive Cease and Desist Letter

By Andrew Gans
September 15, 2009

The Public Theater, which houses the intimate nightspot Joe's Pub, was issued a "cease and desist" letter for the nightclub's production of The Piven Monologues, according to the New York Post.

The evening exploring the controversy surrounding Jeremy Piven's surprise departure from the recent Broadway revival of David Mamet's Speed-the-Plow made its debut at Joe's Pub Sept. 14 and is currently scheduled for an encore presentation Oct. 2 at 11:30 PM.

A lawyer for Piven, Marty Singer, told the Post, "We didn't say you cannot do the play, we said you can't make defamatory statements about our client."

The Piven Monologues was created by Alena Smith (Public Emerging Writers Group 2009) with Jordan Seavey (EWG '09) and Anna O'Donoghue.

"When Jeremy Piven made his abrupt exit from the Broadway production of Speed-the-Plow due to the alleged illness of mercury poisoning," press notes state, "Mr. Mamet may have been the first to comment ["My understanding is that he is leaving show business to pursue a career as a thermometer"] but he was by no means the last. In this new age of instant global communication, no matter how minor the story or how wacky the rumor, everyone gets to have their say. The Piven Monologues presents a selection of the shitstorm in a very special staged reading."

Actors' Equity Association announced Aug. 27 that the decision in the matter of the arbitration between Speed-the-Plow Company, L.P. and Jeremy Piven and Actors' Equity Association was in favor of Piven and AEA. The arbitration ruling concerned the aforementioned drawn-out battle between Emmy Award winner Piven and the producers of the recent revival of Mamet's Speed-the-Plow. Piven abruptly departed the acclaimed revival in December 2008, citing high levels of mercury. The AEA statement said, "The decision acknowledges that Mr. Piven did not breach his individual employment contract nor did he breach the Equity-League collective bargaining contract."

The Oct. 2 presentation of The Piven Monologues is scheduled to go on as planned, according to a Public Theater spokesperson.