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Adaptation

Adaptation
Your Price: $17.95 CDN
Author: Elaine May
Publisher: Dramatists Play Service (cover may change)
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 36
Pub. Date: 1971
ISBN-10: 0822200090
ISBN-13: 9780822200093
Cast Size: 1 female, 3 male

About the Play:

Adaptation is a one-act comedy by Elaine May. This excruciatingly funny and truly satiric play compresses American life into the conventions of a TV game show and loads the device with softly zinging barbs as it examines and dissects the shortcomings of modern society with rare wit and inventiveness.

Adaptation is name of a TV game show with a setting much like Parcheesi board game in which human contestants advance or are sent back through Shakespeare's "Seven Ages of Man". The play creates a picture of man from birth until death, with all its madness, with all its familiarity and with all its nonsense. What's more, a quartet consisting of the games master, the male players and the female players assist the incomparable contestant from "mewling infant" to "second childishness and mere oblivion." Incident after incident makes you laugh and suddenly makes you stop and think that maybe you're laughing at yourself. Elaine May has written a parody of life with such incisiveness that it becomes like Swift in its barbs.

Adaptation premiered in 1968 (on a double bill with Next, by Terrence McNally) at the Berkshire Theatre Festival in Stockbridge, Massachusetts. Adaptation was then presented in 1969 (again on a double bill with Next) at the Greenwich Mews Theatre in New York City and became one of off-Broadway's all-time successes running for over 700 performances. The play has been performed in regional repertory, high school, college, and community theatre productions.

Cast: 1 female, 3 male

What people say:

"…just plain marvelous." — New York Times

"…a brilliant, funny and original one-acter." — New York Newsday

"It is witty and sound and very funny." — The New Yorker

About the Playwright:

Elaine May has enjoyed a multifaceted career as a highly regarded writer, director, and performer. She began her career with the comedy troupe Second City, where she first met Mike Nichols. The duo went on to become one of the most successful comedy teams of the day, headlining a year-long run of An Evening With Nichols and May on Broadway. She has also written plays for the stage and was honoured with an Academy Award nomination for Best Screenplay for the comedy Heaven Can Wait, which she co-wrote with the film's star Warren Beatty.

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