Mr. John McDonald lives in Portland, Oregon (home of Powell’s- the world’s largest book store!) and spends his days writing plays, baking from vintage cookbooks, and absorbing the unique visual art of his city. He has a BA from Portland State University and a variety of plays and screenplays in his repertoire for use at a moment’s notice. He’s a fan of Stephen Sondheim, Rodgers and Hammerstein, and Vincent Price. Mr. McDonald is a big believer in the creative process as a unique entity for each creative person and likes to push students into working to find their voice at the moment in which they live.
How can we take a beloved book from its pages to film or the world of theater? What makes adaptation possible?
Explore how directors, writers, and designers make their choices in order to bring our favorite stories to life. When we find out that our favorite book is being made into a move, we start imagining what the move will look like. Yet what we see in our head isn’t always what happens on the big screen or the stage and being able to talk about why makes you a better audience members and critical thinker.
From to Book to Stage to Screen is recommended for learners ages 9 to 13. Throughout the course, we’ll look at a variety of books, films, and genres. We’ll discuss how a director makes choices for what parts of the book ends up where (if at all), how costuming and set design can enhance or change the story, and how editing influences the story. At the end of the course, students will be able to present about a book they’d love to adapt.
Sample Course Outline
This class has 8 meetings where each meeting considers different aspects of adaptation. A sample course outline is shown below:
- Introductions, What Is An Adaptation? (featuring The Simpsons spoof of The Raven), Terms to Know, Final Project Expectations
- The Isms of Adaptation – The Grinch
- The Longest Lasting Journey – The Wizard of Oz
- Medium and Tone: Coraline and The Peanuts Movie
- Intentionally Dark and Mischievous: Roald Dahl on Film
- Movie Trailers and Movie Intent: Harry Potter and Something Wicked This Way Comes
- Adapting For Big Budgets – The Katniss Everdeen Story
- Final Presentations
From Book to Stage to Screen is offered Fall 2019.