Pursuing a “Singular Art”

“Adaptation is both a skill and a challenge.” These are the words of legendary author and screenwriter, Syd Field (1935-2013), acclaimed as “the guru of all screenwriters” (CNN). Syd goes on to say, in his seminal book, Screenplay – The Foundations of Screenwriting: “The verb to adapt means ‘to transpose from one medium to another.’ Adaptation is defined as the ability ‘to make fit or suitable by changing, or adjusting’ – modifying something to create a change in structure, function, and form… It is a singular art.”

The pursuit of this “singular art” is the mission of Staged/Lit – to celebrate and examine the creative synthesis of adapting literary works from prose to script to performance in a series of staged readings. Developed through my indie press, BooksEndependent, Staged/Lit was designed to present and promote script adaptations, primarily from our book list.

Once I pitched the idea to Aviva Field, Executive Director of Syd Field – The Art of Visual Storytelling, things rapidly fell into place. I had worked with Syd for many years, both studying with him, and coaching writers using the Syd Field screenwriting method. The first time I attended one of Syd’s weekend seminars, (back in the last century!) I was in the process of adapting a stage play to a screenplay. Syd’s book, Screenplay, was the backbone of my process. The resulting script won me a Disney Screenwriting Fellowship. So, trust me, it works!