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re: changing a script?
Posted by: peter3053 04:20 am EDT 08/23/21
In reply to: changing a script? - dooey 10:52 pm EDT 08/22/21

It depends on the personalities involved; what change is being requested; whether or not the author is still living, and/or still represented by an agent; the proximity of the author or their agents to the actual production (and the level of the production); also, the conditions under which the production is occurring can have an effect (do words in the script allude to an indoor/outdoor setting, for example.)

If the relationship between the author and director is fruitful and positive, a respectful discussion will lead to the outcome, one way or the other.

I imagine in the case of Fiasco, there would surely need to have been negotiations with the agent and , through the agent, with the authors involved. (The status of the company making the request, and whether the authors trust their aesthetic, would matter here.)

Sometimes problems arise when the production is afar, and the author or agent finds out too late that an egregious change has been imposed. (I remember an horrific story re a production of Man of La Mancha which the author saw in a foreign land and simply could not understand what was taking place on stage or how it bore any relation to the original - and not just because of the change of language.)

Sondheim spoke of a production of Merrily We Roll Along which reversed the chronology to the "arrow of time" (forwards), and he was horrified; and I think it was stopped. When this sort of dramatic change occurs, one begins to ponder why the director wanted to do the show at all.)

With all these things, being upfront and seeking the permission of the author, and respecting their intentions and decisions, is the critical thing.

But Shakespeare doesn't kick up too much of a fuss, I'm told.

And when they do Oedipus Rex, Sophocles turns a blind eye ... or two.
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