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What Would Sister Do?

By Justin Sondak in Arts & Entertainment on Aug 23, 2005 8:28PM

Success hasn’t been easy for the creators of Late Night Catechism, the long running hit show that regresses its audiences back to their Catholic school days. Twelve years after a burst of creativity in a Logan Square living room birthed an international hit, the show’s creators Vicki Quade and Maripat Donovan are in court fighting for ownership of the play and its main character, Sister.

Late Night Catechism programs credit both women as authors, but Ms. Quade’s newest creation Put the Nuns in Charge! pushes Sister in new, provocative directions that upset Ms. Donovan. Quade contends that she wrote the show’s original drafts, was as integral to the show’s creation and success as Donovan, and is within her rights as part owner to mount a new show. Donovan’s view is that her partner merely transcribed her own taped ramblings, she kept developing the script after its debut, and...oh yeah...this play was conceived in my living room!

This isn’t the first fight over the show’s ownership. The three other friends (or ex-friends as the case may be) who contributed their ideas to the original script sued Quade and Donovan after the show’s original copyright, resulting in a one-time payment and their relegation to artistic anonymity. No word yet whether Christopher Durang plans to sue the writers for stealing his idea.