To Kill a Mockingbird author Harper Lee has started a nonprofit to keep a long-running theatrical version of the beloved novel alive in her hometown, the Associated Press and The New York Times report. The creation of the new group caps a dispute that threatened to derail the production, which for the past 26 years has been staged in Monroeville, Ala., the model for the novel's fictional town of Maycomb.
Dramatic Publishing Co., an Illinois company, refused to extend performance rights for the production mounted by the Monroe County Heritage Museum, with which the novelist clashed in 2013 and 2014 over use of the book's title. But the firm said Saturday on its Facebook page that the production will be taken over next year by Ms. Lee's new nonprofit, called the Mockingbird Company. Scheduled stagings this month and next, produced by the museum, are sold out due to heightened interest over the approaching release of Lee's second novel, Go Set a Watchman.