Two Blondes Walk Into A Theater…

When we were working with The Renaissance Guild on Rumors, there was some discussion on whether to keep its late-80s setting or to update it to the present day.  The decision was ultimately made to make it contemporary to our audience, which meant adapting some lines and references to make sense to a 2010 playgoer.

For one example: In Neil Simon’s original script, there’s a reference to the 1986 film Platoon.  Someone (and it might actually have been me) suggested changing the title to The Hurt Locker, and we went with it.  I thought it worked pretty well; like the movie, the play’s all about characters trying to defuse a bad situation before it blows up in their faces (though I’ll admit there’s a little less… drama attached to our play).  But if I have to be honest about the reasoning behind my suggestion, I really just wanted to hear Danielle King say “The Hurt Locker“.

I bring this up to illustrate that the production of a play is not always a process of exact translation or transcription.  Sometimes we have to make some changes to get the story and characters from page to stage.  Which of course brings us back to the San Antonio Stage Script Study Group. Continue reading

The Reboot

In film, it seems that “reboot” is the new black.  In the last five years, we’ve had more than a handful of stalled movie franchises try to start over with that almost unattainable clean slate.  It didn’t work so well for The Incredible Hulk or Superman Returns, but Batman, Bond, and Star Trek fared a little better.  And there are even rumblings that Jack Ryan will get a second reboot (or third, if you count the recasting of Patriot Games, though I don’t), with Chris Pine (not exactly a stranger to the concept) taking over the role from Ben Affleck né Harrison Ford né Alec Baldwin.  Not quite sure how that one will work, but oh well.

Of course, it almost goes without saying that the challenge in any reboot is to appeal to existing fans of the given franchise while still making sense to people who haven’t followed the characters for years or even decades.  Which brings us to me. Continue reading