Treasure Island Process

The thought of performing Treasure Island came about a year ago.  I had posed a question to my students about what plays they wanted to do the following season.  The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe won by a land slide, then Robin Hood second, and Treasure Island third.  My roommates one night discovered the choices of the plays and instantly shouted “Treasure Island!  Who doesn’t like being a pirate?”  One told my students, “You will be able to say lines such as this: ‘Them that die will be the lucky ones!’ Such bad grammar! Such good fun!”  Instantly I fell in love with the book.  My one problem was that the original book and all the plays were male heavy.  The only woman in them is Mrs. Hawkins.

The next step was to find a play version with women… this doesn’t exist in a well-made play form.  Doing some research, I discovered that Robert Lewis Stephenson’s book Treasure Island was out of copyright and in public domain.  Free for anyone to adapt.  Jumping at the chance, I started in June writing a version of the book that would suit the HHS theatre students.  I spent the summer researching and writing act one.  Most of the female pirates in this version are real pirates from the 18th century, so I didn’t have to stretch the truth much.  I finally finished the play the week before we started rehearsing, I was still rewriting during auditions,  for the actors auditions had inspired me to change or add things.

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