But, as I read this time, I am looking for little interactions between people, perspectives that reveal a small part of the story, or ways in which I can take snippets of the story and use the text to bring the book to the stage. I think about portions of the text that I could easily translate into lines for our actors, what would be easy to portray while being highly engaging for the audience, and how the resulting skit can be a true representation of the author’s work.
Sometimes, because the writing is so touching and relatable, I get swept up into the story and forget that I have an additional job to do. I end up going back through the text more than once, but that is enjoyable too!
As I read on, I don’t know if this book will become part of our performance in the fall as there are many steps to our process. ecWIT works together as a team to read through all of the book options and make selections based on which books speak to us and which we feel we can develop into solid showpieces that will both entertain and promote the books we will represent. When we feel we have a text we can work with, we reach directly out to the author(s) to see if they would be willing to allow us to use their work in this way; we fully grasp that a book is the authors’ artwork and can be a very personal expression that we would never adapt into another art form without permission.
When we have author approval, one of our ecWIT members will take the lead and director role on a specific book. She will pull the portions of the text and develop a mini-storyline with actor roles, lines and stage directions. As we gather at our weekly meetings, we all contribute to refining the skits and then the ecWIT member who is leading the process will cast the parts and rehearsals can begin in earnest.
When I joined ecWIT last year, I stepped into the group at the end of this creative process and so participated only as an actor. This time, I am very excited to start at the beginning! Stay tuned and mark your calendars – ecWIT will be onstage at the Pablo Center on October 26th for this year’s Book Fest!
Sue Fulkerson, Sara Bryan and Ann Pearson