Thursday, May 23, 2019

It’s that time of year again. Snow is on the ground, carols linger in the air, and I’m searching for projects to produce next season. My desk is decoupaged with scripts galore, new and innovative works that I’m sure will inspire and entertain my mid-west audience of school children. I have to admit though, there’s one that keeps beckoning to me like the siren’s song. After every other script, it calls to me like the “precious” from LORD OF THE RINGS.

I know if I do it the schools will come in droves to my cirriculum-connection hive. Teachers will clamor for tickets. Audiences will laugh and cry. Parents will enthusiastically grab children by the arm and drag them to see what was once their childhood favorite alive on stage.

But what will my colleagues think about me if I give in to its seductive call? It’s not new. It’s not cool. It’s not hip. It is sweet, endearing, well written, and…

Money though! Guaranteed box office gold! Am I a dirty TYA sellout?

Do I dare direct CHARLOTTE’S WEB?




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    0 Response

    1. David Kilpatrick

      Oooh…you should produce it, Ernie, but make Templeton the Rat the star! He loves himself a good smorgasbord.

      Curious what other popular plays folks begrudgingly put in their seasons? The ones that work to complete and sell a season, but the ones that maybe aren’t quite so artistically satisfying – not quite so edgy?

      And I would argue that anyone can take “Charlott’es Web” and make it new again, right?

    2. kpkovac

      can you make it new again? given the script and everyone’s knowledge of the story? and will that disappoint those looking for the same old? inquiring minds want to know

    3. Cassandra Proball

      yes, there are those moments when one wonders…hm….am I catering to box office? However, I say, go for it, Ernie! (I bravely say, months later). Charlotte’s Web, especially the Robinette adaptation, is tightly written, faithful, exciting, engaging and dramatic – all in all, just a darn good piece of theater. Also, just looking at text – strong female lead characters, great dramatic inquiries into the complexities of friendship, sacrifice, the nature of intelligence, mob mentality/popularity, competition, overcoming low expectations based on one’s current circumstances, etc. the fresh approach can be looking deeply at the text and thinking creatively about the design & realization of the script – the same challenge when approaching Shakespeare, O’Neil, Broadway musical classics – any long-standing show with audience expectations. Sounds like fun!!

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