Word for word

 Book-It Repertory Theatre in Seattle brings books to life

Platt and Jones

To bring their plays to life, Platt and Jones scour books for the essential passages.

John Granen

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Growing older onstage is no easy trick. But between the second and third acts of Book-It Repertory Theatre's production of Edna Ferber's Giant, characters Leslie and Bick fast-forward a generation or more with nothing but a change of costume and demeanor. No gray wigs, no makeup wrinkles, no canes.

"Our mission is to simply celebrate the narrative voice and force the audience to use their imagination," says Myra Platt, co-artistic director, with founder Jane Jones, of Book-It. Mission accomplished. As Book-It wraps up its 15th anniversary, Platt and Jones explain the concept of their company, which is the first of its kind: It turns great books into plays―not plays "based on" books but theater entirely from books. Practically every word spoken, every scene, every situation comes straight from the text.

Sunset: Why Book-It? Why plays directly from books?

Platt: We want to transform great literature into great theater through simple and sensitive productions, and inspire our audience to read!

Jones: As a company, we believe that reading can open people's minds and have a positive impact on the community's health.

 

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