Hello, infrequently updated blog.
Hello, Kevin, how are you?
Oh, doing fine, thanks. I’ve been thinking about posting.
Good Idea, have a go.
Okay, I will, thanks.
So. My Midsummer Night’s Dream adaptation, Summer’s Twilight, is coming up for a workshop on December 5th. We’ll have five scenes, running straight through Puck’s line, “Lord what fools these mortals be.” I just finished writing the fifth scene, which includes one of those operatic staples: a scene that doesn’t exist in the play, that was created for the opera adaptation. I used to think this sort of thing was a desecration of the text, but now I think it can be a quite valuable thing to do.
The scene I’m talking about in the play has Demetrius chase Hermia onto the stage, professing his love for her. The crucial confrontation, though, where they meet up alone in the woods, happens offstage. Now, for me, Demetrius is the main threat in the story. The threat of forced marriage it what makes the plot go in the first place. The moment when he gets the girl he wants alone in the woods, that’s a dramatic moment. Does he grab her and abduct her? What happens? Shakespeare skips that, and it works great, but I wanted that scene, so I cobbled it together out of different language from different people in the play.
Demetrius catches Hermia, and instead of abducting her, instead of attacking her (and she is very afraid at this point), he sings a love song. An over-the-top, psuedo-militaristic love song. His threat is neutralized with a bit of a joke. We thought up till this point that he was a monster, a rapist, and it turns out he’s jug a big lug. In the play, blowing over this encounter helps the whole play speed along. And for me, in this shortened adaptation, it’s a crucial moment, and I had to create it out of other things.
There’s other fun stuff to talk about in there, but the question of creating whole new scenes in adaptations of classic plays is a fun one to start with.
Seeya in a few months, blog. Maybe I’ll post again after the reading, but maybe not, who knows….