By Evelyn C. McDonald
Arts & Culture Reporter
March 21, 2018 4:44 p.m.
I went to see a movie last week that had been adapted from a book I liked. Whenever that happens, I worry about how much the movie will change the book. The movie version of “A Wrinkle in Time” did change the book. It pared down the cast of characters which intensified some of the relationships. It provided a backstory for certain characters that made them more understandable. And the visual
I went to see a movie last week that had been adapted from a book I liked. Whenever that happens, I worry about how much the movie will change the book. The movie version of “A Wrinkle in Time” did change the book. It pared down the cast of characters which intensified some of the relationships. It provided a backstory for certain characters that made them more understandable. And the visual effects were fantastic.
That experience made me think about Ron Kurtz’ view that a director’s job is to find the ‘spine’ of a play, the single thing he or she believes the play is trying to say. He stresses that the spine may be different for everyone. Those differences can account for the changes that might be made between a book or play, and a movie made from either one.
The idea of a spine representing the director’s view of a work is one that’s been useful for me. It is not only useful for plays but also for books. It’s a way of getting at a book, play or movie to perhaps illuminate a little of the viewpoint being presented.
We will have a chance to check out this theory next month. Amelia Community Theatre’s Main Stage will be offering “Doubt” starting on April 5 and running through April 21. The play won a Pulitzer and Tony in 2005. In partnership with Amelia Lifelong Learning, ACT will offer another session of Ron Kurtz’ popular “The Play’s the Thing” courses starting on April 5 and running through May 10.
Ron Kurtz has led two other Amelia Lifelong Learning sessions through a consideration of “Arsenic and Old Lace” last spring and “Wit” last fall (despite best efforts of Hurricane Irma to derail it). In both of these courses, we read the play and discussed how best to stage it. We saw the play as staged then met to discuss what we’d seen. This year will be a different.
Ron has proposed that we discuss the staging of “Doubt” then see the play and come back to discuss the actual staging. He will add one other step. We will view the movie version of the play. Meryl Streep, Amy Adams, and the late Phillip Seymour Hoffman were the stars. After viewing the movie, we will meet to discuss the differences in the directors’ views of the spine of the play and what that means.
Information on tickets for the play can be found on the ACT website – www.act.org
Information on registering for the course can be found on the Amelia Lifelong Learning website – www.amelialearning.com Course registration includes a discount on tickets for the play.
Evelyn McDonald moved to Fernandina Beach from the Maryland suburbs of Washington, D.C. in 2006. Evelyn is vice-chair on the Amelia Center for Lifelong Learning and is on the Dean’s Council for the Carpenter Library at the UNF. Ms. McDonald has MS in Technology Management from the University of Maryland’s University College and a BA in Spanish from the University of Michigan.