House of Earth Question #24: The Ear of a Playwright

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House of Earth Question #24: The Ear of a Playwright

Unread postby fireflydances » Mon Apr 22, 2013 8:34 pm

There's a certain static quality to House of Earth. Not a lot happens -- but there sure is a lot of talking. As I read along, I kept coming back to Buckley and Depp's comment about Guthrie having 'the ear of a playwright.' They were writing about Guthrie's ability to capture "the spirit of how people really talked on the frontier," but the more I thought about it, the more I felt that there was something very play-like about House of Earth.

We're interested in your comments on this. Can you imagine House of Earth as a play?
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Re: House of Earth Question #24: The Ear of a Playwright

Unread postby nebraska » Mon Apr 22, 2013 9:07 pm

Probably not. Even a play needs a story where something happens. Some action, as it were.

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Re: House of Earth Question #24: The Ear of a Playwright

Unread postby Liz » Mon Apr 22, 2013 9:54 pm

Well, I see it having potential to become a play, with a little tweaking.

Many plays take place in a short span of time. I can see the birth being the main focus.

And a lot could be made of the winds, the wallpaper, Blanche, Tike dancing, Ella May escaping....
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Re: House of Earth Question #24: The Ear of a Playwright

Unread postby nebraska » Mon Apr 22, 2013 10:26 pm

I thought the book was very visual. I could "see" so many of the scenes as I read, it was very vivid and alive in my head. But I still am not sure it translates to a play.........of course, most of the plays I have attended are amateur productions in Nowhere, Nebraska, which might not translate to what could be successful in other venues.

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Re: House of Earth Question #24: The Ear of a Playwright

Unread postby RamblinRebel » Tue Apr 23, 2013 12:00 am

Well, I found it to be much more akin to a three act play - or even a four verse song - than to a typical novel. Like many plays it captured a brief snippet in time, a tiny glimpse into the lives of ordinary people living in extraordinary times. And though you didn’t know the characters for very long, you did get to know them pretty well. I think the dialog and visuals would certainly lend themselves to a stage production, especially Tike’s animated character, and as Liz said, the wind, Ella May’s escape, the birth, etc. But I still think it would require a bit more plot or story line development to really pull it off.

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Re: House of Earth Question #24: The Ear of a Playwright

Unread postby Gilbert's Girl » Tue Apr 23, 2013 2:20 am

nebraska wrote:Probably not. Even a play needs a story where something happens. Some action, as it were.

I'd agree with that. Not sure how they would make most of the first chapter into a play since its mostly taken up with them having sex in the barn. That definately wouldn't work on stage.
Certainly I think you could see parts of it working as a play. Many plays certainly have alot of talk and quite often only between two or three people.
You wouldn't need much scenery or props.

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Re: House of Earth Question #24: The Ear of a Playwright

Unread postby DeppInTheHeartOfTexas » Tue Apr 23, 2013 8:24 pm

I agree, GG. Some of it would work. Tike's dancing around and "chanting" the childbirth scene, the interaction between Blanche and Tike are some examples. I can see the scene between the two of them listening to the radio working with some tweeking. Overall, as written I don't see it as a play without some major rewriting.
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Re: House of Earth Question #24: The Ear of a Playwright

Unread postby ladylinn » Wed Apr 24, 2013 7:50 pm

House of Earth as a play - there are some very interesting characters - Tike, Ella May, Blanche. The whole play could be set in the one room and dialog between the characters could set a vivid picture. The audience would have to have some imagination. Agree - it would need lots of rewriting.


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