Presentation on theme: "Fatal Attraction 1. The issue of length 2. Character complications a)fleshing out personalities b)conflating characters 3.Making the play Relevant to."— Presentation transcript:
1. The issue of length 2. Character complications a)fleshing out personalities b)conflating characters 3.Making the play Relevant to Modern Audience 4.Picking a Modern Theme a)80s lingo b)How to be pertinent/relatable? 5.Plot a)creating a more concrete world 6.Language Shifts a)Modern English vs. Middle English
1. The issue of length The most obvious problem we faced was taking an original 100 page script of Middle English writing and converting it to a 30-40 page script with modern- day English. It was imperative that we simplified the plot, from cutting characters and scenes to simplifying speeches and shortening scenes altogether. By doing so, we were able to simplify and condense the plot, making it more basic and easier to follow, as well as fitting into our time constraint.
2. Character complications a)fleshing out personalities Several of the characters in The Castle of Perseverance showed similar personality traits. Vices like Envy and Greed were hard to distinguish, as well as their similarity to Backbiter. The Virtues were also remarkably alike, and in order to separate Abstinence and Chastity we had to focus on sexual abstinence and overeating. We tried to create lines showing at least one aspect of each character that differed from others, and to overlook any traits they might share b)conflating characters Since there were far too many characters for our class, we choose to combine characters that were unnecessary and wouldn't be understood by modern audiences anyways. For instance, World, Flesh, and Belial were originally going to be combined into Belial, but we ended up scrapping them all completely to have Demona and Backbiter, who already were very similar to Belial, represent the same features. Likewise, Shrift and Penitence were combined into Conscience, which is better understood by a wide audience instead of just Roman Catholics.
3. Making the play Relevant to Modern Audience We used similar techniques to the medieval playwrights in making the subject of our play relatable to our audience. The medieval writers of The Second Shepherd’s Pageant gave their shepherds universal complaints about food, family life, and the weather, as well as specific complaints about the government practices at the time in order to make the characters realistic and relevant to their audience. By setting our adaptation in a high school, we were able to incorporate aspects of modern life that our audience could relate to, such as the choice of where to sit at lunch, problems with authority in the form of teachers and principles, cafeteria food, and general teen angst.
4.Picking a Modern Theme a)80s lingo In order to develop language specific to the style, we rewatched a lot of these movies ("Sixteen Candles", "Fast Times at Ridgemont High", etc.) and also found a 80's slang dictionary online. a)How to be pertinent/relatable? We chose to write the script in the style of 80's high school movies like "The Breakfast Club" because the archetypal characters in these movies reminded us of the allegorical character types in morality plays. Also, these are images that are easily recognized by the majority of our target audience. The characters in "The Breakfast Club" matched particularly seemed to represent several of the vices and virtues: Molly Ringwald's princess character reminded us of "pride" but also "chastity"; Judd Nelson's rebel character seemed to embrace "envy"; Anthony Michael Hall's brain character is a strong example of "industry"; while Emilio Estevez's jock wrestler represented "greed". Ally Sheedy's basketcase character didn't fit in as well, but could be applied to the "lust" allegory.
5.Plot a)creating a more concrete world The setting of The Castle of Perseverance is in this abstract world where physical reality does not really exist. We chose to set the play in a concrete physical setting (a high school classroom and cafeteria) that our audience could understand. In the original play, Mankind’s soul faces judgment, but we needed to create a judgment scene that would fit in the context of our adaptation. By having Manny brought up on drug charges, we were able to portray a judgment scene in the context of our 80’s high school theme.
6. Language Shifts a)Modern English vs. Middle English The shift from Middle English to Modern English was not an easy one. In order to translate the original version into our new version, we had to carefully read through the original Middle English text as well as an 85-page translated version, which was easier to read than the original, but not entirely, and translate the texts line by line. We gathered together the basic outline of each of the characters' speeches and from there rewrote the lines into contemporary English, adding 80s words and lingo along the way to conform with our 80s theme. We decided to set the first scene in a Medieval Drama classroom as a way to allow us to include short bits from the original "Banns" and from there segueing into the modern world.