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Don't Take Their Word for It


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To the editor:

This letter is in reference to the recent review of Storytellers 2001 [October 12] currently showing at TinFish Theatre and does not represent the opinion of TinFish management.

We certainly appreciate your efforts to send a reviewer to our off-night, short run October show. Unfortunately for us the reviewer found absolutely nothing to praise. Sound design (apparently Billy Idol combined with Broadcast did not work for him), our adaptations of classic tales, the original playlets, the actors' performances, and direction all came under attack. We do, however, offer a few comments in rebuttal.

We agree that it is risky to attempt a rendition of a novella or even a short story in a 20-minute period of time. However, the core theme of Jekyll and Hyde, i.e., the separation of polar personality elements, was the emphasis of our treatment. Perhaps the reviewer was comparing our work to the many inaccurate motion picture renditions of this story, with their added romantic features. We worked from the original story and eliminated nonessential elements that would have distracted from a staged rendition.

Secondly, the reviewer stated that our original playlets were "dragged out as though to conceal their slightness and lack of drama." The reviewer referred to one of them as "a Bram Stoker adaptation." While this playlet was erroneously listed in one secton of the program as being based on a story by Bram Stoker (and has since been clarified), it is interesting that the reviewer could have accepted Stoker's work as source material for this playlet, which is set in 2045 America and focuses on the use of science kits containing the bodies of dead children for the purpose of resuscitation (another treatment of the Frankenstein theme).

Thank you for allowing us this space for our views.

G. Gibson
J.M. Johnson

Brian Nemtusak replies:

Sometime drama critic Bram Stoker wrote scads of fantastic stories; I tried to discover which the playlet in question was adapted from, but failing here, took the program at its word.

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