Hypothetically: If I were going to adapt one of my short work for stage…

This really is hypothetical and not in the “secretly I have a deal” way we often use it. I’ve just been thinking about stage and theater and the adaptation of work to different media. The scripts I’ve written have largely been adaptations. All of them are a good fifteen+ years in my past, and before I started writing fiction seriously.

I was thinking about playing around with adapting one of my shorter works for stage mostly as a way to experiment. A lot of what I know about dialogue and pacing comes from translating my experience on stage to the written page. I’m curious to see what I’d learn if I go the other direction.

So… of my non-novel work, what would you like to see on stage. And why? <–What I really mean here, is what images/moments stick with you?

(Trivia: Shades of Milk and Honey started as a piece of flash fiction, that I then began expanding for a radio serial, before finally deciding that a visually based magic system was a poor choice for an audio medium)

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14 Responses

  1. David H.

    I always liked “Jaiden’s Weaver,” and why? I’d love to see the spiders (perhaps as puppets) doing their weaving, and the changing sky in the background, and of course, a very relatable parent-gives-alien-egg-to-kid-and-pet-comes-out-missing-an-arm story.

  2. Alyshondra

    The White Phoenix Feather is so cinematic, I can already visualize it. But it might be tricky for the stage, because ninjas and aliens and such. Maybe better as a movie, and an extremely cool one. It was the first thing I thought of.

    I could see the Consciousness Problem as a beautiful play, and oh so painful. Pretty simple too, just need good acting.

    Body Language could be really cool, especially with a projected video feed for eDawg, but maybe the live actress in the cradle would be distracting. But all the puppeteering is fascinating.

    And I always always want more Lady Astronaut in my life.

  3. Jonathan Marcus

    The White Phoenix Feather! I *so* want to see that acted! So much physicality in that. A good actor would have a ball with it.

  4. Atrus

    I was thinking Rockets Red, with an audience participation moment where they’re made to pick up the cards (small audience or limited to volunteers, or it gets too long).

    Salt of the Earth seems could work as a theatrical piece too, and it has some interesting visual moments that could be amped on stage, like the collection of the tearsheets.

  5. Joanna

    One of the amazing things about the stage is being able to build a set that suggests claustrophobia. On the one hand, Lady Astronaut of Mars would have to be adapted to make all that internal narrative less internal. On the other, the set could be built to emphasize that sense of being grounded, regardless of how willing the character was initially.

    Incidentally as a person with an interest in space exploration and a fairly major illness myself, that piece makes me cry. I identify with both of the major characters at the same time.

    1. Erik

      I second Lady Astronaut of Mars. I’d love to see the intimacy of the dialogue brought to life on stage.

  6. Matthew Shean

    White Phoenix Feather and The Consciousness Problem were the two that both immediately jumped to my mind.

    I feel like Rockets Red would be amazing, especially the crowd scene at the end, but that it isn’t right for the stage and I could see that being done as a short film with a soft focus, extreme closeups of hands grabbing cards, patriotic (or orchestral) music swelling, and a extreme slow motion as the cards go flying everywhere. Yep, that definitely needs a screen treatment instead of stage.

  7. Nate K

    Is there any way to adapt “Scenting the Dark”, your short story about the blind man being hunted by an alien predator?

    It would lose a lot of the sensory descriptions on which the story relies, but the story is so impactful in its use of horror, I’d love to see how it might play out on stage.

    (reposted from Goodreads)

  8. Michael

    I’ll Second evil Robot Monkey, I think it is the first story by you that I read and have always loved it. The costuming would be insane but Clockwork Chickadee would be really interesting to see performed too.

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