Based on the famous Oscar Wilde story, this adaptation is touching and funny. Sir Simon Canterville, the 500-year-old ghost of Canterville Manor, is suddenly faced with an English ghost’s worst nightmare -- Americans! The Otis family moves in, and Sir Simon wants them out. When 16-year-old Virginia, who wants to be anywhere but England, and Sir Simon meet, they have an instant dislike for one another. Soon, though, they find they have a very special link. Insert two rambunctious twins, a stuffy English butler, and a handsome young English duke, and this becomes a wonderful adaptation of a classic!
PLAYWRIGHT TAMMY MADDEN TALKS ABOUT
“THE CANTERVILLE GHOST”
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO WRITE THIS ADAPTATION?
This summer I saw an old movie version of this story, and I fell in love with it. I very much wanted to do it as our school’s fall play. After looking for an adaptation that I liked, I didn’t find one, and decided to write it myself!
WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE PART OR LINE IN THE PLAY?
My favorite line is Sir Simon’s Shakespearean rant at the end of Act I. “In-di-gestion? Gassy stomach? Why, I have never been treated so rudely. I cannot believe you are not frightened of me. You fools; you are proud, shallow, beggarly, filthy, worsted-stocking knaves; lily-livered, glass-gazing, scurvy canker-blossoms…churlish muddy-mottled bear-whelps! Your rudeness sours ripe grapes! I had rather chop this hand off at a blow, and with the other fling it at thy face than put with -- with you Ameri-cans one more instant!”
WHAT WAS THE MOST DIFFICULT PART IN CREATING THIS ADAPTATION?
I always find the most difficult part in writing any play is finding the right number of characters, and in the right male/female ratio – especially when most school drama programs tend to have many more females than males. This one was especially challenging since the original short story had so many males, and I had to adjust that for more female roles.
WHAT DID YOU TRY TO ACHIEVE THROUGH THIS ADAPTATION?
I tried very hard to keep the charm and magic of the original, but also throw in some humor and romance. I wanted a humorous, relevant, touching, 21st century adaptation of this story!