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The Turn of the Screw

The Turn of the Screw
Your Price: $15.95 CDN
Author: Henry James
Adapted by: Jeffrey Hatcher
Publisher: Dramatists Play Service
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 50
Pub. Date: 1996
ISBN-10: 0822215543
ISBN-13: 9780822215547
Cast Size: 1 woman, 1 man

About the Play:

The Turn of the Screw is a full-length drama adapted for the stage by Jeffrey Hatcher, from the novella by Henry James. Part ghost story and part psychological thriller, this classic tale concerns a naive young woman hired by a wealthy recluse to look after his orphaned niece and nephew. Once at his remote country estate, ghostly phantoms begin appearing to the woman, leading her to question to her sanity, and the children's innocence.

The Turn of the Screw is a spooky adaptation of Henry James' provocative tale of suspense, horror and repressed sexuality. A young governess journeys to a remote English manor house to care for two recently orphaned children. But she is not their first governess. Her predecessor, Miss Jessel, drowned herself when she became pregnant by the sadistic valet, Peter Quint, who was himself found dead soon after under mysterious circumstances. Now the new governess has begun to see the spectres of Quint and Jessel haunting the children, and she must find a way to stop the fiends before it is too late. But one frightening question tortures the would-be heroine: Are the ghosts real, or are they the product of her own fevered imagination? Madness and mystery are brilliantly concealed in this spine-tingling tale.

The Turn of the Screw premiered in 1996 at the Portland Stage Company in Portland, Maine. The play enjoyed widespread acceptance among leading regional theatres, and has become a popular choice for community theatre productions.

Cast: 1 woman, 1 man

What people say:

"In his thoughtful adaptation of Henry James' spooky tale, Jeffrey Hatcher does away with the supernatural flummery, exchanging the story's balanced ambiguities about the nature of reality for a portrait of psychological vampirism…." — Boston Globe

"The Turn of the Screw is a suggesting, haunting piece." — Springfield Union-News

"It is hard to think of an interpretation of Henry James' famously eerie novella The Turn of the Screw that is more in keeping with James' own intent … Jeffrey Hatcher could have been taking his cues directly from James' preface to the story: 'Only make the reader's general vision of evil intense enough, and his own experience, imagination, sympathy and horror will supply him quite sufficiently with all the particulars.' The key word is imagination. In this beautifully executed adaptation … the audience [is] forced, through subtly ambiguous shadings, to vividly project what is cleverly left unseen and unspoken. A dazzling act of the imagination. Mr. Hatcher has pushed James' clever turn to its furthest degree." — New York Times

About the Playwright:

Jeffrey Hatcher is an award-winning American writer for stage, screen, and television. He grew up in Ohio before attending New York University to study acting. After a brief career on stage, he turned his attention to writing. His many award-winning plays, original and adaptations, have been performed on Broadway, Off-Broadway and in theatres around the world.

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