Ryan Dunlavey on Action Philosophers Play Adaptation - Page 2
How much did Crystal Skillman consult you while she was adapting the story?
Crystal solicited my input from the very beginning but I told her I preferred to not be involved and wanted to let her and John and the actors do their own thing. After the first run-through I offered a few informal suggestions on the staging and backdrops (which John was already planning to do as it turns out), but that was it.
In terms of the characters, who do you think have flourished the most in a theater setting?
Ayn Rand had such a dramatic personal story and I think comes across better in performance than it did in the comic - She's a real-live super villain that you actually feel sorry for. Bodhidharma and Plato have done great too, thanks in no small part to the hyper-charged performances of Neimah Djourabchi and C.L. Weatherstone, respectively. They both sell those characters better than anyone. My son LOVED Joe Mathers as Karl Marx - mostly because of the fighting, and Joe's experience as a fight choreographer really made it work. The all-philosopher brawl at the end and the surprise guest philosopher (I won't spoil it for you) was amazing - it wasn't something we did in the comic and it was far and away my favorite part of the play.
Now that you have seen the play adaptation, are there narrative elements you want to borrow and utilize in your next comic?
Nope, they're totally different mediums and have a very different set of storytelling challenges. As director John Hurley astutely pointed out, in comics events are contained in their panels but theatre is fluid - actors and scenery have to move in and out of the stage. I've been drawing comics for so long that I have a hard time picturing any of my ideas occurring outside of panel borders. Plus, I'm a terrible actor. Comics 4 Life!
In general, why do you think your and Fred Van Lente work together so effectively as a creative team?Continued on the next page