[Seattle, Wash., November 19, 2020]—This winter, Book-It Repertory Theatre (Book-It) presents the all-audio theatrical adaptation of The Canterville Ghost, a classic short story by celebrated British wit Oscar Wilde. This tale of an American family transplanted to a British manor house, and steadfastly ignoring the resident ghost, satirically cleaves the intersection of American and British sensibilities. The Canterville Ghost was adapted and directed for Book-It’s audio season by Brandon J. Simmons (he/him).
Wearing multiple hats for this production, Simmons deftly wields the particular language and aesthetic wrought by Wilde. “As an adaptor my job here is more like being a very judicious curator, or editor, and to just let Wilde be Wilde. And as a director, I’m mostly interested in the music of Wilde’s prose. A lot of directing this piece has looked more like conducting a small music ensemble than a more traditional ‘play.’ Wilde wrote prose how Mozart wrote music: every single word in its proper place. (This isn’t a judgment of quality so much as it is a judgment of style.) So, highlighting the rhythms and textures of each line is what’s most important.”
Equally important for Book-It is the celebration of family, holiday and tradition. This year will see many people struggle with circumstances out of their control—not being able to see loved ones and losing work. To address the added burden of the holiday time, Book-It decided to make this play a Pay What You Will offering.
“Part of the reason we choose Canterville was because of its nod to classic, British, holiday ghost stories and the history of coming together this time of year, with our loved ones, to share in storytelling and traditions. So, offering this title as a Pay What You Will option is about trying to make it easier for families, in all their forms, to come together—in person or virtually—this holiday season to share in listening to a great story,” Managing Director Kayti Barnett-O’Brien (she/her) says of the choice.
Artistic Director Gus Menary (he/him) agrees, “We at Book-It wanted to gift Seattle something warm and joyful for this holiday season, while celebrating the intelligence and love of language for which Book-It has become known. The Canterville Ghost is the perfect balm for the winter blues.”
The cast for this unconventional holiday classic includes Brandon J. Simmons, Claudine Mboligikpelani Nako (she/her), Reginald André Jackson, Tracy Michelle Hughes (she/her), Tre Scott, Imogen Love (she/her), R. Hamilton Wright (he/him), and Riley Gene (they/them). On the production team we have Adapter/Director Brandon J. Simmons, Rehearsal Stage Manager Michelle Chesley (she/her), Sound Designer Johanna Melamed (she/her), Technical Director/Recording Engineer Benjamin Radin (he/him), and the Audio Book-It theme music was composed and performed by Leanna Keith (she/they).
The Canterville Ghost will be released to stream or download on December 8, 2020 and is accessible until June 30, 2021. Single tickets to this show are available beginning November 24, 2020 and cost $15 or Pay What You Will.
SUBSCRIPTIONS AND SINGLE TICKETS
Subscriptions for the 2020-2021 season are available from September 1, 2020-June 1, 2021 by phone and online. There is one subscription package at $100, which gives you access to all titles in the season, plus exclusive additional content. Single tickets will go on sale two weeks before each show’s start date. Prices are $15 for a full-length title (Childfinder, The Canterville Ghost, The Effluent Engine) and $25 for a serialized title (Mañanaland and The Mandala of Sherlock Holmes). Two of the titles will also be available at Pay What You Will pricing. Teachers may buy any title for their class of up to 30 students for $30. Purchase at book-it.org or by calling the box office at 206.216.0833.
ABOUT THE SEASON
The Audio Book-It season includes Childfinder, the story of a woman’s mission to protect children the system discards, by seminal science fiction author Octavia E. Butler; The Canterville Ghost, a comic ghost story with all the charm and wit you expect from Oscar Wilde; Mañanaland, an inspiring all-ages adventure by Newbery Honor recipient Pam Muñoz Ryan; N.K. Jemisin’s The Effluent Engine treats us to a speculative fiction spy-thriller and The Mandala of Sherlock Holmes, by Jamyang Norbu, is an exciting Holmesian pastiche.
ABOUT BOOK-IT REPERTORY THEATRE
Book-It Repertory Theatre, a leader in the narrative theatre movement, was founded in 1990. Book-It is a non-profit organization with a dedication to great literature and quality theatre experiences employing simple, sensitive and imaginative production techniques, and inspiring its audiences to read.
Torrie McDonald, Marketing & Communications Director