Cover Art  of the Pacific Northwest Issue: A large bird carrying various Pacific Northwest landmarks on its back.
Book-It Repertory Theatre
Elise Thoron
Elise Thoron

My first conversation Josh Aaseng from Book-It Repertory Theatre in Seattle lasted a couple of hours on the phone. We were like long lost cousins who couldn’t get enough of talking with each other about the challenging and exhilarating process of adapting literature into vibrant stage performance. We chewed over everything from wish lists of books to adapt for next season, techniques to make descriptive prose pop on stage, the frustration of rights being pulled because a production company “owns” the book.

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(playwright, director) co-founded Literature to Life with Wynn Handman at the American Place Theatre. Now in its third decade, Lit to Life performs solo verbatim text adaptations of contemporary literature around the country, accompanied by educational programing and community discussion. Her adaptations: Diaz’s The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao, Baldwin’s If Beale Street Could Talk, Lowry’s The Giver, Cisneros’ The House on Mango Street, and County of Kings with Tony award-winning spoken-word poet, Lemon Andersen, which went on to the Public Theater in New York and venues around the world.