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 Peer Gynt or To adapt or not to adapt

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Laura
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PostSubject: Peer Gynt or To adapt or not to adapt   Fri Feb 05, 2010 1:59 pm

I've been to a performance of Peer Gynt with my class this morning. I've never read it, I only knew the music, so I took a quick look at Wikipedia before going.

Sadly, it appears they took the general idea of the material and then rearranged everything to make it into something they figured teens would like. (They didn't.) I hate it when they do this to perfectly good plays. Ok, maybe I'm old-fashioned, but I believe that good dramatic material doesn't lose anything of its meaning if you leave it in the original state instead of adapting it to modern tastes.

What do you think, is it always necessary to give in to the demands of modern times, or would you prefer traditional stagings?

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PostSubject: Re: Peer Gynt or To adapt or not to adapt   Fri Feb 05, 2010 7:38 pm

For me, the key words here are "give in". Not all plays need stay within the confines of "traditional" settings. Indeed, many are seen in a new light and appreciation if sincere creative expansion is used. Shakespeare is probably the best example of this. Granted, not all "modern makeovers" of his plays are for the best (many forgettable "teen" movies are based on his comedies), but sometimes you run across something that is interesting and pertinent. For example, there is a playhouse in Rhode Island called Trinity Repertory Company that puts on a number of plays a year. One year they did a revision of "Julius Caesar", set during the John F. Kennedy administration. Now that was creative and interesting.

But, when you "give in", or "dumb down", then you are asking for trouble. The "target" audience (teens, usually) will not respond to that. Give them some credit, for crying out loud.

That's my take on it, anyway. Very Happy

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PostSubject: Re: Peer Gynt or To adapt or not to adapt   Sat Feb 06, 2010 11:31 am

That is true, sometimes a modern adaptation can add a new twist or perspective to things. But I hate it when they modernize plays for the sake of modernizing them. More often than not, that means the plays actually lose something of their original meaning and message - simply because the developments have much less weight when they take place in mundane modern surroundings.

I like your concept of "dumbing down" plays. That is exactly what they did to "Peer Gynt". I mean, the entire conflict between him and Aslak was reduced to plain high school bullying. No

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