FITA – The Stage Play: Interview with Andrew Neiderman – Scriptwriter

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On Wednesday, a video was released very quietly with no fanfare on The VC Andrews Fan Page.

Hauntingly beautiful classical music accompanied by a choir singing in French  ” The Flower Duet “ slowly revealed the news that the Flowers in the Attic stage play was in production for its world premiere.

The video spoke for itself , no great explosions just elegant and emotive as the story itself.

AtticSecrets, Lorraine Elgar  was lucky enough to be granted an interview with Andrew Neiderman – VCA ‘ s ghost writer and the new play s scriptwriter.

Thanks, Mr Neiderman for this great interview :

Firstly, what inspired you to convert the book into a play?

I was inspired to adapt the novel into a play because it has so many good play elements beginning with the fact that its action mostly takes place in one setting. The conflicts are acted out well in the novel and lend themselves to dramatic tension, great dialogue opportunities, and dramatic effects with staging, lighting, etc. Make no mistake about it, however, a play is another genre, and can never capture all that a novel does. The same is true for a film adaptation of a novel. What lovers of a novel must realize is the formats require different technique, major dramatic choices, and a different purpose. Plays, like novels, depend on words, but the  one advantage is the action is visible and can be made more dramatic by good direction and of course, good acting. I’m looking for this to happen first in New Orleans, but it is potentially a play that can be done anywhere because of its single setting and small number of characters.

Obviously, due to time restrictions you ve had to change the timeline of the story – was this difficult to do ?  

It wasn’t difficult to contain the action of the novel in a shorter time span because the novel is intensely involved with interior thought and dramatically that can often be expressed in a single line, a single action. Rather than have fade out and fade in to mark time, I thought a linear, smooth relating of the events would work better on stage, thus the condensed time period, which many believe is more credible. The novel has certain events that structure its backbone and cannot be deleted. The growing relationship between Cathy and Christopher and the manner in which they are forced to grow up rapidly is essential. Christopher’s reaction to and relationship with his mother is essential. Their reaction to their grandmother is essential; and their realization of what is happening to them dramatically overcomes their child-parent dependency and makes this a universal story.

Some fans were confused by the change in Cathy and her seemingly promiscuous behaviour – what was the motivation behind this change?

In today’s world, Cathy would be more sophisticated. The challenge was to keep her as close to the novel as possible but give her the insights she would have in today’s open media world. Young girls are far more aware of their sexualitytoday and to keep her credible, it was important to gracefully carve her on the stage so she’d be credible and understood.
 
Obviously Flowers in the Attic is enjoying a huge revival thanks to the new diary books,the Lifetime movies and now the play ! You have worked tirelessly to get them out there for the fans – why do you think it has taken off now ? And has it exceeded your expectations ?

Flowers in the Attic is never going to be forgotten. It directly explores the growing awareness of youth, awareness of the tensions that come from physical and emotional maturing. The incest theme has been with us since the Greeks. It lays there in the darkness. Many were and still are afraid to explore it. Virginia Andrews took it head on and produced a classic in that sense, so remakes, plays, and discussions will only enhance its longevity.

So the play premieres August 13 th in New Orleans and you have been heavily involved in its production, personally choosing the director Chris – what was it about him that appealed to you ?
Will you be having input on casting ?
 
I won’t be involved in casting. I strongly believe that a theater, its director, have to put their own mark on a work to give it their interpretation. That’s the fun of it and the challenge at the same time. I’m sure theater goers will get what they want and I am already impressed with Christopher’s intelligent and creative ideas. I couldn’t ask for a better start to the life of this dramatic work.

Andrew Neiderman

Flowers in the Attic : The Stage Play
will be running from 13th -31st August 2015 at  Old Marquer Theatre , New
Orleans

You can keep up to date with all production news here

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. eastsidon says:

    I love that Neiderman mentions Flowers in the Attic will never be forgotten. Its definitely a book that will endure … That’s it’s legacy. It was the book that started it all and it will be the book that will carry the VCA flame forever in our hearts.

    Like

    1. I totally agree with you eastidon , I think its a very personal book to many and people hold it dear to them – I too love how Neiderman got that

      Like

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