CMU School of Drama

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

The Three Musketeers

Pittsburgh in the Round: The playbill for Carnegie Mellon University’s School of Drama’s aggressive and successful challenge of Andre Dumas’ timeless classic The Three Musketeers employs much space dedicated to “adaptation” – its meaning and its role in the theater. In “Theory of Adaptation” featured in the playbill, director Andrew William Smith states “adaptions accomplish a few things; they bring the source to life in an immediate and kinesthetic way and they transform it to the specifications of a distinct medium such as theater….The audience experiences the transformed source text through the production, tailor-made to and influenced by the political, social, and cultural currents running through its world….An adaptation from 1978 might not be engaging for a 2017 audience; therefore, adapters change the story again and again [however] preserving what they find useful and relevant and revising what they don’t….”

3 comments:

Annie Scheuermann said...

This is a really good positive review of the show. However, I cannot understand why Megan Rivas was not mentioned at all. The critic goes into detail about how the show is an adaptation from the original story, and how Andrew the director approached it, but does not mention that one of the CMU drama faculty was the playwright. Megan is an incredible woman and it was so lovely to work with her on the production. Watching her process during the rehearsal period was incredible as she invited input from the actors on the dialogue and director, but never was swayed from the heart of what she wanted her work to be. I have not looked at the program for the show, but I really do hope that is clearly shows that this work is original to Megan. I am glad the reviewer enjoyed the performance and thought that we brought something new to the old story, however if I did not know much about the production, I would be more interested in the specifics of the content rather than all of the actors and characters they played.

Katherine Sharpless said...

A kind review- and I'm glad that final main stage show of our season has been well received- but I agree with Annie that the article should have absolutely mention Megan Rivas. Andrew had some intriguing quotes on the nature of adaption in the intro- but Megan did the adapting! I have even more respect for her after reading Annie's comment on the rehearsal process. I saw the show last weekend and enjoyed it- even though I'm not usually interested in this time period or genre. The fight choreography was so well done and especially through Act 2 the show was fast paced and entertaining. I have some questions about parts of the adaption and some of the designs- but that's for conservatory hour. It's hard enough to put on a well coordinated show with a large cast and student designers, and working with a unfinished script through the design process and adapting the show across centuries to be 2017 relevant is admirable. Much love to Megan.

Alexa James-Cardenas said...

I agree with the other two comments: What the Heck! Why didn’t they include Megan? But moving on, I must say that the vision that I had for the play wasn’t exactly the show that I saw. In my mind, I thought it would a lot more intense (although they did say it was an action adventure, cartoon morning/comic show sort of deal, I don’t know why I thought it be more angst-y) So when I saw it for the first time, I was confused about how much comedy and child-like adventure flick was happening. But that didn’t mean I didn’t enjoy it, in fact there were a lot of good moments. And I feel like I would enjoy/ value it more if I saw it for a second time. Because the second-time I would know what to expect and what sort of mood I needed to put in my head. Overall, it really felt as if I was a kid watching a progressive TV series that will become a nostalgic classic (and thus perfect in my head), and for a stressful week, that was a big relief for me. It is definitely a show that is on a whole different ground than the other shows that have been on the Chosky stage which is nice to see cute humor.