created and performed by Theater Reconstruction Ensemble
after Booth Tarkington and Orson Welles
conceived and directed by John Kurzynowski
Artists copy one another, whether it be in the repetition of plots or the mimicking of styles. Copying can be a form of adaptation - one that allows for a process of transformation to take place between the product of one artistic practice into that of another. But how does this practice of copying affect the eventual adaptation? And can the copy ever be as sharply drawn as the original?
A simple understanding of "copy" as defined by the Merriam-Webster Dictionary:
- an imitation, transcript, or reproduction of an original work (such as a letter, a painting, a table, or a dress)
- one of a series of especially mechanical reproductions of an original impression; also an individual example of such a reproduction
An example of "copy" pulled from the novel The Magnificent Ambersons by Booth Tarkington and the film adaptation by Orson Welles:
- "Major Amberson had “made a fortune” in 1878, when other people were losing fortunes, and the magnificence of the Ambersons began then. Magnificence, like the size of a fortune, is always comparative, as even Magnificent Lorenzo may now perceive, if he has happened to haunt New York in 1916; and the Ambersons were magnificent in their day and place. Their splendour lasted throughout all the years that saw their Midland town spread and darken into a city, but reached its topmost during the period when every prosperous family with children kept a Newfoundland dog.
In that town, in those days, all the women who wore silk or velvet knew all the other women who wore silk or velvet, and when there was a new purchase of sealskin, sick people were got to windows to see it go by. Trotters were out, in the winter afternoons, racing light sleighs on National Avenue and Tennessee Street; everybody recognized both the trotters and the drivers; and again knew them as well on summer evenings, when slim buggies whizzed by in renewals of the snow-time rivalry. For that matter, everybody knew everybody else’s family horse-and-carriage, could identify such a silhouette half a mile down the street, and thereby was sure who was going to market, or to a reception, or coming home from office or store to noon dinner or evening supper."
- "The magnificence of the Ambersons began in 1873. Their splendor lasted throughout all the years that saw their Midland town spread and darken into a city. In that town in those days, all the women who wore silk or velvet knew all the other women who wore silk or velvet - and everybody knew everybody else's family horse-and-carriage."
The Magnificent Magnificent Ambersons is currently in development by the ensemble. There is no production timeline in place. Stay tuned for more updates regarding work-in-progress showings.