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Episode 43
Adaptation & Translation

There are a number of questions and considerations when adapting a film, novel, short story and bringing a public figure to life on stage. A panel of award-winning dramatists, Doug Wright (Grey Gardens), Carol Hall (A Christmas Memory), Winnie Holzman (Wicked), and David Ives (Venus In Fur), discuss their processes and relationships to source material.

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Doug Wright is a Pulitzer Prize-winner and has received a Tony Award, Drama Desk Award, GLAAD Media Award, an Outer Critics Circle Award, a Drama League Award and a Lucille Lortel Award for I Am My Own Wife. His screen adaptation of Quills was named Best Picture by the National Board of Review and nominated for three Academy Awards. Doug was cited by the American Academy of Arts and Letters and awarded the Tolerance Prize from the Kulturforum Europa. Currently, he serves on the board of the New York Theatre Workshop and serves as Secretary on the Dramatists Guild Council.

Works include: Interrogating the Nude (1988); Quills (1995); Unwrap Your Candy (2001); I Am My Own Wife (2003); Grey Gardens (book) (2006); The Little Mermaid (book) (2007); The Pavilion (2009); Hands On a Hardbody (2013).

Doug Wright’s DG Member Profile: http://www.dramatistsguild.com/memberdirectory/getmembership.aspx?cid=10756


Composer, Lyricist, Playwright

Carol Hall wrote both music and lyrics for the Tony award-winning The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, A...My Name is Alice, and the landmark childrens’ classic Free To Be You and Me. For that project, she wrote the songs “It’s All Right to Cry,” “Parents Are People,” and “Glad To Have a Friend Like You.” She is a contributor on Sesame Street. She also wrote the Off-Broadway musical To Whom It May Concern. Her most recent project has been contributing lyrics for a musical based on Truman Capote’s classic story A Christmas Memory (book: Duane Poole, music: Larry Grossman), which premiered at Theatreworks in Palo Alto, CA. Carol is a lifetime member of The Dramatists Guild Council and Vice-President of The Dramatists Guild Fund. Her first non-musical work, The Days Are As Grass, consists of eight one-act plays and has just been published by Samuel French.

Works Include: The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (1978); Sweet Main Street (1979); Good Sports (1982); Are We There Yet? (1988); A. . .My Name Is Alice (1993); The Days Are as Grass (2004); Max and Ruby! (2007); To Whom It May Concern (2010); A Christmas Memory (2011).

Carol Hall’s DG Member Profile: http://www.dramatistsguild.com/memberdirectory/getmembership.aspx?cid=2152


Playwright, Screenwriter, Actress

Winnie Holzman is the writer (with acclaimed songwriter Stephen Schwartz) of the international hit musical Wicked. For television, she created My So-Called Life, which starred Claire Danes. Ms. Holzman got her start performing and writing in a comedy group, and writing syndicated comedy sketches for Jerry Stiller and Anne Meara. Her big break came when she was invited by Marshall Herskovitz and Ed Zwick to join the writing staff of their groundbreaking TV series thirtysomething. Her work on that show earned her a WGA nomination and a Humanitas Prize. She went on to work with Herskovitz and Zwick again, first on My So-Called Life, and later on Once and Again, starring Sela Ward. More recently she created the short-lived but well-loved ABC Family series Huge with her daughter, Savannah Dooley. Ms. Holzman’s less well known musicals (with composer David Evans) include Birds of Paradise, Back to Back, and Maggie and The Pirate. She has written one unproduced feature film and one produced film: ‘Til There Was You. Also an actress, Ms. Holzman played Larry’s wife’s therapist on Curb Your Enthusiasm and the chocolate-obsessed divorced woman in Jerry Maguire. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, actor Paul Dooley. Their ten minute play Post-its: Notes on a Marriage is performed frequently across the country. They recently wrote and starred in their first full length play, Assisted Living. Ms. Holzman is a graduate of Princeton University and the NYU Musical Theatre program. She is a member of the Dramatists Guild.



David Ives is probably best known for his evenings of one-act comedies called All In The Timing and Time Flies. All In The Timing won the Outer Critics Circle Playwriting Award, ran for two years Off-Broadway, and in the 1995-96 season was the most performed play in the country after Shakespeare productions. His full-length plays include Venus In Fur, which recently enjoyed a vast critical and audience success on and Off-Broadway; New Jerusalem: The Interrogation of Baruch de Spinoza, which won the prestigious Hull-Warriner Award; Is He Dead? (adapted from Mark Twain); Irving Berlin's White Christmas; Polish Joke; and Ancient History. He has translated Feydeau's classic farce A Flea In Her Ear as well as Yazmina Reza's drama A Spanish Play, and his translation/adaptation of Pierre Corneille's The Liar premiered at Washington's Shakespeare Theatre Company. He is also the author of three young-adult novels, Monsieur Eek, Scrib, and Voss. A graduate of Yale School of Drama and a former Guggenheim Fellow in playwriting, he lives in New York City.

Works Include: All in the Timing (1993); Don Juan in Chicago (1995); Ancient History (1996); Mere Mortals: Six One-Act Comedies (1998); The Red Address (1998); Lives of the Saints: Seven One-Act Plays (2000); Time Flies and Other Short Plays (2001); The Other Woman and Other Short Pieces (2008); New Jerusalem: The Interrogation of Baruch de Spinoza (2009); The Liar (2012); Venus in Fur (2012).

David Ives’ DG Member Profile: https://www.dramatistsguild.com/memberdirectory/getmembership.aspx?cid=2621