Curt Conway

Curt Conway – Play of the Week: John Steinbeck’s Burning Bright (1959)

Burning Bright is a 1950 novella by John Steinbeck written as an experiment with producing a play in novel format. Rather than providing only the dialogue and brief stage directions as would be expected in a play, Steinbeck fleshes out the scenes with details of both the characters and the environment. The intention was to allow the play to be read by the non-theatrical reader while still allowing the dialogue to be lifted and performed with little adaptation by acting companies. While Steinbeck could see that providing little information in the way of physical description or stage direction allowed the director and actors greater freedom and scope for imaginative interpretation, he weighed this against the benefit of making the players aware of the author’s intent and making the play accessible to the general reader. Read More »