THOUGHTS ON ADAPTATION
Adapting literature to the stage takes courage. It is an act of risk and reverence as we excavate the dense world of language, imagery and ideas from a novel hundreds of pages long and transport its many characters and landscapes to the stage. It is a negotiation with the voice of the author and the realities of real time storytelling; a navigation of themes and narratives as we labor to distill the essential while honoring the detailed moments and nuance of the novel.
The density of the novel can never, truly, be translated to the stage. From the very beginning, our work has been geared towards engaging the audience's collective imagination. We give a blank canvas, an empty space that our actors and designers use to create the world of the novel. This approach strips away the dependence on realism and releases us to truly live inside the story through adaptations grounded in the best of what theater can offer: a world of imagination and wonder.
Our approach to translating literature to stage is unique in the landscape of New York Theatre. At the heart of our work is an ensemble of actors, designers and other creatives that make up our company. We are family of artists working from a deeply formed bond, shared language and unified approach to creating plays. Almost every member of the team, on any given project, is a returning collaborator. Many of the artists on our team have been working with us over the last ten years or more.
Our approach to adapting novels to the stage as an ensemble company has been acknowledged with numerous awards and recognitions including multiple Drama Desk Awards. We are honored to have the company’s work recognized, and to share that work with you.
Joe Tantalo–Artistic Director
New York City, May 2014