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Adapting with Beverly Cooper ...

Over the years I’ve had the privilege of drama-turging a great number of playwrights, most often in my capacity as script editor at CBC Radio. One of the highlights has been working with Beverley Cooper, a gifted playwright and actress.

Beverley has had a great acting career in theatre and now things are really heating up for her as a playwright. Her drama about Stephen Truscott – Innocence Lost: A Play About Steven Truscott - was the hit of last year’s Blyth Festival and is being remounted in September by that theatre. Her stage adaptation of Wilke Collins’ novel Woman in White recently premiered at Hamilton’s Theatre Aquarius. I had the pleasure of working as Beverley’s script editor on a radio version of Woman in White a number of years ago; it’s a gloriously chilling novel and Beverley really did a fine job with her dramatization.

Beverley and I will be reading from, and talking about, our plays on January 27 at the Cherryhill branch. We’re going to read some excerpts from Beverley’s Truscott play and a current biodrama that I’m writing about Kaj Munk, a Danish war resister. We’ll talk about what it’s like to portray a real human and, in Bev’s case, a living person – and the responsibilities and challenges that that entails. We’ll also read from a couple of our play adaptatations – Woman in White and my own adaptation of Margaret Atwood’s The Edible Woman.

I’m not a great actor, but Bev is – so I can promise you that at least 50% of the reading will be worth hearing… and hopefully we can share some insights into the tricky business of adapting novels, and dramatizing lives.