Thursday, May 3, 2007

Question 5

5) Imagine you've been asked to serve as an artistic consultant for the set design of (choose) a) an already-existing play; b) a yet-to-be-written play based on a novel; or c) film version of either an already-filmed novel or one that has yet to be filmed. You get to choose the work and the "medium" (stage or film). What would you choose, and why?

I'd choose theater and the yet-to-be-adapted novel. Theater is much more immediate and visceral than film. I love the idea of working with lots of people, and an audience, and of facilitating a direct, human connection. I also like the idea of working with something new. I have a horror of adult expectation (not so much of children's expectations, but that is another post), and its significantly less intimidating to design a piece that carries no baggage. Although readers are a tough crowd, they understand the limits translating hundreds of pages of novel to 2 hours of live theater. The flexibility of theater is also appealing-- how things can be adapted and changed, how there never is a tangible, dead, end-product. The physical stage seems like it would be a fun thing to explore, between being inspired by Joseph Cornell, Alexander Calder and the play of light and shadow. I'd hope it was good novel, one with lots of color, sympathetic characters, compelling settings and an interesting plot.


This is fun and thought-provoking! Does anyone want to be interviewed by me?


John B. said...

A very thoughtful response. Except, um, you didn't name the novel you'd want to work with.

Camille said...

I didn't realize that was a choice. The novel that would be most fun to adapt for the theater is the Man who Was Thursday by Chesterton. He uses so much color in his text that it would be easy to adapt to a visual media (I counted 15 references to the color red on the first page). In 1938, Orson Welles turned it into a radio play, so its still a somewhat virgin piece. It also has lots of fun plot twists, interesting characters, and of course, the immortal philosophical anarchists.

Anonymous said...

I would like stage sets and a very good novel, for the script. I like the way the painted backgrounds look ethereal. Modern effects can be great, of course, but old-style sets have a certain magic. Thanks for Sub! Rob

Rosa said...

Yes! Man Who Was Thursday would be an amazing and complex piece of theatre. (Or film!) I didn't know Orson Welles had adapted it to radio....Chesterton would be pleased. Maybe a future Radio Science Theater production, eh, Trisha Montgomery?

Anonymous said...

I can see a stage production of today's find "The Fur Person." Not to be confused with today's other find, the rat book. The Fur Person could be adapted in so many ways... it could be a combination of the Moscow Cat Circus and burlesque. Maybe we might even throw in some elements of that rat book too, just for fun. The possibilities are endless. Though, I see my production using REAL cats not dancers in cat costumes.

Camille said...

h, you make me laugh (of course, maybe its really the two margaritas and the guiness)

Nori said...

I want to be interviewed!!! You'd either have to ask me easier questions, or ones tailored to my philosophy/biology major brain.

Camille said...

OK, Nori, I'll compose some questions just for your brain.

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