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Matthew Freeman is a Brooklyn based playwright with a BFA from Emerson College. His plays include THE DEATH OF KING ARTHUR, REASONS FOR MOVING, THE GREAT ESCAPE, THE AMERICANS, THE WHITE SWALLOW, AN INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR, THE MOST WONDERFUL LOVE, WHEN IS A CLOCK, GLEE CLUB, THAT OLD SOFT SHOE and BRANDYWINE DISTILLERY FIRE. He served as Assistant Producer and Senior Writer for the live webcast from Times Square on New Year's Eve 2010-2012. As a freelance writer, he has contributed to Gamespy, Premiere, Complex Magazine, Maxim Online, and MTV Magazine. His plays have been published by Playscripts, Inc., New York Theatre Experience, and Samuel French.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

What makes a good adaptation?

I have been reworking an adaptation for publication. Essentially, it's the medieval mystery plays, rewritten by machine for new technology. (Yes, I did just quote the Buggles.)

Actually, it's quite traditional, which is my preference with verse. I leave some in, throw some out, mix it up. I really wish I had a "theory of adaptation." What makes a good stage adaptation? What makes one a failure?

Note: I don't mean a translation.

Anyone have an opinion on this?

2 comments:

Adam said...

It should be relevant--not stick too close to the original, have its own spin and like all good theatre be exciting to watch

kirabug said...

A good adaptation needs to either consciously follow the (or a) thesis of the original piece, or consciously reject it in a way that the audience may recognize (perhaps not consciously). It shouldn't waffle. Either the original author was right with whatever his point was, or you're out to prove that his previous point is no longer relevant for today's audience and you can show why.