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USA News

Hamilton creator hints at legal action against Texas church

by Donna Birrell

The creator of the hit musical Hamilton, Lin-Manuel Miranda, has condemned a so-called 'Christianised' version of the show by a Texas church and hinted that he wants legal action to be taken.

The Church's version of the Grammy and Tony award-winning musical was staged on 5 and 6 August by RGV Productions which operates with The Door Christian Fellowship Ministries of McAllen. It's believed one of the performances was also live-streamed.

In a tweet, Lin-Manuel Miranda wrote: "to all of you who reached out about this illegal, unauthorized production… Now lawyers do their work."

His comments follow condemnation of the version by the Dramatists' Guild which claimed the church's version was performed without a license.

In a tweet, the Guild said: "We hold up the Door McAllen Church's brazen infringement to shine a light on the problematic pattern of some theatrical organizations performing authors' work without a license and rewriting the text without authorial consent. No organization, professional, amateur, or religious, is exempt from these laws," 

The Guild's statements continued: "No writer's work, whether they are a student who has just written their first play, or Lin-Manuel Miranda, can be performed without their permission. And it is never okay to change the words, lyrics, or notes, without their express consent."

Some of the lyrics which are believed to have been changed include: from the original "But I'm not afraid, I know who I married" to "But I'm not afraid, My hope is in Jesus."

In a statement to a Dallas newspaper, the Door Christian Fellowship's pastor Roman Gutierrez said that his church and RGV productions acquired legal permission from members of the Hamilton production team to stage the version.

Hamilton tells the story of American Founding Father Alexander Hamilton and took over seven years to compose. 

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