'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. Good Day I am Mr (Victoria Wright) from United state of America, i stayed in NEW YORK, and i have a broke up business, until i found this company email who help me to gain a loan for business,, and now i want to used this short medium to congratulate the below company for the fast and safe money they loan to me without any form of collateral, i loan 500,000USD from the company to save my business and lots more, i saw their mail on the internet, everyone always give testimony for what they did, so i quickly contacted them and they all did everything for me without stress and my money was sent to my account just 3 days later, i was surprise and i feel so glad, now i have a standard business control agent who help me, now i will advice those who need urgent loan to contact him at the bellow email:zenithfirm12@gmail.com

    2. NOTICE:This is to inform the general public that Vampires are real. My name is James Franklyn.,am an agent of vampire,am here to introduce our new world trend to you,a world of vampire where life get easier,we have made so many persons vampires and have turned them rich,you will be assured long life and prosperity,you shall be made to be very sensitive to mental alertness,stronger and also very fast,you will not be restricted to walking at night only even at the very middle of broad day light you will be made to walk.In case you are wildly oppressed by some unscrupulous persons we can still help you fight them.Your protection is assured immediately you join.Just contact the bellow email if you are interested we are here to attend to you anytime you want us. Contact the bellow email for more details. Email:vampirescreed@hotmail.com Sincerely: James Franklyn.

    3. Bravo! Someone else that is willing to speak the truth! Bravo!_____NBCSN is available in almost 2 MILLION more homes than just a few years ago, but Indycar STILL gets less total viewers than it did just a few years ago when NBC took over Versus. Attendance and ratings cratered with the end of season races (just when the title battle got "interesting" HAH!__________And now...new race in Basilia, where Miles celebrated the "rich history" of Indycar racing there. Rich history? What, 7 events in the 100 years of AOW? Yep, some history. Well, at least its an oval. It's not??? Are you kidding me??? Gosh darn road racin furriners.

    4. PURITY RAY LOAN OFFER........ Have you been denied by your banks,or are you in need of of an urgent loan to pay of your bills we are capable of giving loans @ cheaper rate to interested individuals, student, companies and members of the public in need of finance to settle bills, we do offer considerable loans which you can count on. For more information on our various types of loan,then you will have to contact PURITY RAY LOAN FIRM, to help you achieve your desire LOAN APPLICATION FORM TO BE FILLED BORROWERS INFORMATION * Full name:………………………. * SEX * ……………………………. * Country………………………….. * State:……………………………. * Land:…………………………….. * Occupation:…………………….. * phone number:…………………. * Telephone: ………………………….. * Age:………………………………. * Amount needed as loan:……… * Loan Duration:………………….. * Propose of Loan:……………….. * Annual revenue:………………… * Monthly Income:……………….. * Guarantee:………………………. * Payment: monthly or annually Email.....purityrayloanfirm@gmail.com Thank you and God bless Mr Purity Ray PURITY RAY LOAN FIRM we tend to serve you better

    5. Problem: most of the people responding to this article don't know about this service AT ALL! Why? Lack of awareness. This isn't IndyGo. This is CIRTA: might as well be the mattress company because they are asleep at the wheel - something like 3 directors over the last year? Playing with federal grant money is great! This "region" wants commuter rail service, has spent MILLIONS on Transportation studies yet can't even support a commuter bus line? This is largely for suburban riders to get to downtown - not for "service people to work in our hotels and restaurants" ! Get your head out of your backside!! These are professionals, students etc. that don't want to fight traffic, save some money on parking, gas, stress.... if CIRTA would put their federal money into widely promoting the sevive to Greenwood, Fishers & Carmel instead of finding directors and studies - this would be a successful service. Our family uses(d) it daily for the last several years - but the recent uncertainty & now unreliability due to cuts from Carmel has been a problem. Now, costs us an additional $350/month for gas & parking ( $4200/year) plus vehicle wear, service, environmental impact ... YES - this REGION needs this this type of service in order to keep growing and getting the people it needs to fill skilled positions in downtown Indianapolis. Think outside of your own car !!!

    ADVERTISEMENT