Word for word

 Book-It Repertory Theatre in Seattle brings books to life

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Sunset: Isn't it an arduous task to get a book in its purest form onto the stage?

Platt: We read the books three times or so. Then we begin underlining.

Jones: We pick out what we call the "purple passages," things that must go into the script. Then we begin cutting it down to its essence.


Sunset: What about the sets, the costumes, and all the other props that conventional theater is built on?

Jones: We spend $2,600 for the sets on each show. That's nothing! Part of that is financial. Part of it is our artistic commitment to simplicity.


Sunset: Where did this idea come from?

Jones: I was in New York, working in theater. A group of us formed the 29th Street Project. We rented a space, and every member of the project could come and work on their vision of theater. Each summer I'd travel with my boyfriend. We'd go West. I began reading aloud to him in the car on the long stretches: The Grapes of Wrath, A Tale of Two Cities. I read so many beautiful stories that summer in our Volkswagen. I went back to New York and began a program of literature-to-theater at the 29th Street Project.

Platt: I'd completed a degree at Northwestern University in performing literature. I was in New York working at Circle in the Square [Theatre]. Jane and I never met in New York, but we probably passed each other on the street. Then about the same time, we both moved to Seattle.

 

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