Sunday, February 14, 2016

City of Glass (Paul Auster) Director/Adaptor's note

Program note for City of Glass:

Robert Honeywell as Daniel Quinn
The first time I read City of Glass, I had the strong sense that I had written it. Somewhere in a half forgotten dream, I had deposited all my thoughts about language and identity and mixed it with styles borrowed from detective fiction and theatrical absurdism. It even started with one of my favorite devices—mistaken identity, via a misplaced phone call.

What I did know for sure is that it seemed the perfect text for me to adapt for the stage. Its central staging problems seemed like opportunities. Fortunately, I was able to talk briefly with Paul Auster about my thoughts, and he kindly gave me the go ahead to try it out. You are about to see the results.

Most of all, for me, this is a play about brokenness. Daniel Quinn is a broken version of the author, haunted by the ghosts of his wife and son. Peter Stillman Jr is an example of a man who is deliberately broken by another. Do we have the language to express that brokenness?

With every adaptation I create, I ultimately reconceive the context and make it about myself and my art. Who am I, and how does it relate to the play? Who are you, the audience?

All I can say is this: listen to me. My name is Paul Auster. That is not my real name.