Adrian Hall's dramatic adaptations: A playwriting process and model



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Texas Tech University


This dissertation presents the script adaptation process developed and practiced by Adrian Hall as constituting a methodology and model for other playwrights. In his role of artistic director of Trinity Repertory Company and Dallas Theater Center, Hall adapted literary works for the stage throughout his career. The study begins with a current biography of Hall exploring the plays he authored while guiding Trinity Repertory Company and Dallas Theater Center in the role of artistic director, and surveys playwriting techniques by which Hall's methodology can be compared in three of his adaptations. The study of Hall's playwriting process, chronicled and corroborated by numerous personal interviews with Hall regarding his work, results in documentation of his style and identification of a playwriting adaptation model.

This dissertation's three central chapters detail Hall's script development in three representative, but distinctly different, works for the stage: Feasting with Panthers, A Christmas Carol and All the King's Men. Although he developed these plays from different types of material—a compilation of sources, novella, and epic novel—and approached each play as a unique entity. Hall followed a similar pattern in each case study. Much of his success can be attributed to his passion for and his dedication to what he terms "this ancient craft of the theatre." Hall has developed intuitively, from his intimate knowledge of the theatre, a distinct approach to drafting a script.

Guidelines emerge from the study of his process of adapting material from novels or documentary sources into the dramatic form. Since most playwriting books only address writers endeavoring to create an original play and rarely even mention the adaptive process, the presentation of this model, derived from Hall's artistry, improves this deficiency in the playwriting field. The conclusion distills the findings from the three plays examined into a process to guide playwrights in adapting literary works into playscripts.



Hall, Adrian -- Criticism and interpretation