Friday, March 6, 2009

James Hindman on writing the book for BEING AUDREY

James Hindman here! Book writer for BEING AUDREY.

When I was approached by Jack, Cheryl and Ellen with this idea, they said – ‘It has to be about a woman who is so in love with Audrey Hepburn, she has a fantasy and escapes into her movies.’ I said, '…Okay.' As book writer, my job was to figure out why this woman would do such a thing. I had to come up with a dramatic reason for her to run from her life while still keeping the show whimsical and fun.

My next task was to watch and familiarize myself will all her movies. That was fascinating! Not only was I reminded of how mesmerizing Audrey was to watch – I noticed all her characters dealt with the consequences of running away from the truth. This was the exact same thing we wanted to write about. Bingo!

We got to work… Cheryl and I focused on the flow of the story while Ellen was busy finding a sound for the show that would be all its own. The three of us would meet with Jack constantly to hammer out how all the elements might fit together.

Cut to The first draft of the script... it was so much fun and really paid homage to the movies. Only Problem – no one knew the movies! Not the way we all did. That’s when Adam Perlman, The Transport Group’s dramaturg, joined in. He helped us map out a story that was interesting all on its own.

I think that’s become the most exciting and challenging part of this process – seeing if we can make a story that makes sense for everyone…whether you know the movies or not.

So far rehearsals are going great. The cast is terrific. They all really get this style of comedy. Cheryl Stern helped write the book so having her play the lead role has been extremely helpful. And having a great actor like Brian Sutherland play her leading man is a gift! We’ve had rewrites but they’ve all been about making the story clearer. Having the fresh eyes of Scott Rink (choreographer) there has been enlightening because he and Jack have to make sense of it all now. I really can’t wait to get the show on its feet and see what we have. Here we go! I’ll keep you posted.

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