'Kurt Vonnegut's Make Up Your Mind' opens in Boston. But whose play is it, anyway?

October 30, 2013
Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

When the Kurt Vonnegut Memorial Library presented a reading of Kurt Vonnegut's "Happy Birthday, Wanda June," it was described as the author's "only play." And that's been the party line on the work that premiered off-Broadway in 1970.

Since then, Vonnegut works have been adapted for the stage (see last August's "Welcome to the Monkey House" at IndyFringe and the upcoming "Who Am I This Time?" at the IRT). But having your work adapted isn't the same as writing a play.

So what should we make of "Kurt Vonnegut's Make Up Your Mind," opening Oct. 30 at Boston's SpeakEasy Stage Company?

According to the theater, there was a reading of the play in East Hampton in 1989 and a workshop of it in New York in 1993. After that, the script sat in a drawer. Nicky Silver, who wrote the hit play "The Lyons" (seen last season at the Phoenix Theatre) gets "assembled by" credit, having pieced it together from 11 different Vonnegut drafts. One conceit: He added Vonnegut himself as a character, using Vonnegut's own essays to create his dialogue.

Whoever's play it is, I'm fascinated. And look forward to reading the reviews.

As to the show's future, program notes from the theater quote Silver as saying "My conversations with the producing team have indicated that they're excited about the potential for a commercial run on Broadway. We'd love to see the show have a life after SpeakEasy."

ADVERTISEMENT
  • Vonnegut's Play
    Kudos to Lou Harry for addressing this play. I need to apologize on behalf of the Vonnegut Library. What we should have said was that Happy Birthday Wanda June was the only PUBLISHED play at that time. At the time of Vonnegut's death, there was writing that was finished but never published and also work that was never finished. The Vonnegut Library completely supports the good work by Nicky Silver. Check out our website for more information about the play: www.vonnegutlibrary.org.
    • The play's the curious thing
      I didn't mean to imply that the Vonnegut Library was incorrect. I've referred to 'Wanda June' the same way. Will you be going to Boston for this one? Or have you invited Silver to speak at the Library? -Lou Harry
    • Nicky Silver
      We have board members attending different evenings, and I will be there later this month and will participate in a Talk Back after the performance ends. Our Baltimore Chapter President Jane Wehrle will also participate in this Talk Back. We are hoping that Nicky Silver will speak in Indy next year. I'll keep you posted.

    Post a comment to this blog

    COMMENTS POLICY
    We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
     
    You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
     
    Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in IBJ editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
     
    No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
     
    We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
     

    Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

    Sponsored by
    ADVERTISEMENT
    1. I had read earlier this spring that Noodles & Co was going to open in the Fishers Marketplace (which is SR 37 and 131st St, not 141st St, just FYI). Any word on that? Also, do you happen to know what is being built in Carmel at Pennsylvania and Old Meridian? May just be an office building but I'm not sure.

    2. I'm sorry, but you are flat out wrong. There are few tracks in the world with the history of IMS and probably NO OTHER as widely known and recognized. I don't care what you think about the stat of Indy Car racing, these are pretty hard things to dispute.

    3. Also wondering if there is an update on the Brockway Pub-Danny Boy restaurant/taproom that was planned for the village as well?

    4. Why does the majority get to trample on the rights of the minority? You do realize that banning gay marriage does not rid the world of gay people, right? They are still going to be around and they are still going to continue to exist. The best way to get it all out of the spotlight? LEGALIZE IT! If gay marriage is legal, they will get to stop trying to push for it and you will get to stop seeing it all over the news. Why do Christians get to decide what is moral?? Why do you get to push your religion on others? How would legalizing gay marriage expose their lifestyle to your children? By the way, their lifestyle is going to continue whether gay marriage is legalized or not. It's been legal in Canada for quite a while now and they seem to be doing just fine. What about actual rules handed down by God? What about not working on Sundays? What about obeying your parents? What about adultery? These are in the 10 Commandments, the most important of God's rules. Yet they are all perfectly legal. What about divorce? Only God is allowed to dissolve a marriage so why don't you work hard to get divorce banned? Why do you get to pick and choose the parts of the Bible you care about?

    5. Look at the bright side. With the new Lowe's call center, that means 1000 jobs at $10 bucks an hour. IMS has to be drooling over all that disposable income. If those employees can save all their extra money after bills, in five years they can go to the race LIVE. Can you say attendance boost?

    ADVERTISEMENT