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Monkey Island The Play


pirate boy
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In case some of you don't go over to the worldofmonkeyisland forums, I am making a play version of the Secret of Monkey island. Already I've adapted the storyline, locations, and characters for the stage. I'm about 50% done with the first draft. I'm waiting for permission from Lucasarts which'll take forever. I'm getting a bunch of my piers involved in this and it looks like I'll be hauling up some cash to get the idea out there but it'll be nonetheless worth it. I have some set designs up here...

 

http://www.worldofmi.com/features/fan/art/index.php?artist=170

 

Let me know what your thoughts are.

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I've seen your stuff over at worldofmi, looks good.

 

Just to note, unless you're planning on selling tickets and making money off of this, I doubt LA would care. Plus there's very little chance of them finding out anyway. Schools do this all the time with stuff like Grease and Oliver.

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Hey, you have some pretty interesting ideas there Pirate Boy.

 

Some of your pictures depict certain pieces moving around the stage, like the Scuum Bar, now this instantly reminded me of the stage play of the Flintstones from years ago. They have this electronic set which moves the pieces of the set around literally.

 

For example, the front of the Flintstone house would be seen and then as a character enters, the whole thing swaps places with the interior section. I'll see what I can find... I'm sure I taped it... dunno if I have that tape anymore though.

 

As for Lucasarts and getting their permission, no point really, they wouldn't even care if they didn't find out about it.

 

As for schools doing "Grease" and "Oliver" those ones are almost like school property - the authors usually allow the scripts to be published to be used for stage plays etc. Well Dickens probably didn't give permission, but really, who owns the copyright for Dicken stories? I mean, everyone can reference those things without being sued!

 

Um... anyway.... well done!

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Books like Dickens and the like usually get bought out by publishers and they generally don't care much about plays, the books still sell. Plus, I'm talking about the musical, that's what most schools do and some film company still holds the rights to that, but don'tr really care if schools do it as a play or not.

 

And yeah, I agree, the moving sets and all that are realy good, it gives it a nice feel. This is something I would whole heartedly endorse, more than a movie anyway. Plays are fun because whenever you see something done, but you can't figure out how (like LeChuck blowing up) it's more amazing than seeing a movie where you can simply put it down to "special effects". and even when you can see the strings, it's still great. That I like.

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I live in the United States in Maryland. I actually have a very strong chance of getting it on a stage. I'm still in school and I am willing to pay with my own money to see it done there. Hopefully this week I will present it to the drama teacher.

 

If it gets to that stage, then I will have people record the preformance. So those of you who cannot get here will still get to see what we did.

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I had a look at the sets and they're good, but too impracticable if you ask me. Personally I'd go with a more Brechtian line that the Pantomime look you've got, and experiment with lighting sound and maybe gobos or gels to suggest different settings. I'd also say that the Monkey Island story would have to change dramatically if it were to be successfully adapted for the stage.

 

I haven't seen a script for this, but if I was to do it I'd strip out all the puzzles and instead focus on the main theme of the game: of identity and of becoming who you want to be in life. Thus I'd only have Guybrush become a pirate at the end, and maybe that through rescuing Elaine he learnt some kind of moral lesson, like real experience comes from life, not doing what some pirates in The SCUMM Bar tell you to do.

 

The question you've got to ask yourself is "why do people want to see plays?" If it's entertainment they go to the cinema. More often than not people see plays in order to gain a message from it, to learn something either consciously or subconsciously.

 

You've also got to ask "why would you want to put on a play about the 18th century in the 21st century?". One good way to answer this is to use the play to comment on society today, like, for instance, Our Country's Good does, or, as another example, Trojan Women does.

 

I'd recommend that if you're doing a script you should research every aspect of the 18th century - the makers of Monkey Island did it, and so should you. If you just want to do it stage design wise research is still hugely important. Most people don't realise how much research goes into theatre production.

 

Good luck though!

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some people do plays because they haven't got the cash or expertise to do a movie.

 

If that's the case, make it funny. If you have humorous dialogue and funny things happening, then the icing on the cake would be simplified sets. people don't want to be distracted by the sets (the backgrounds in the game are mostly silouhetted, looking somewhat like stage backgrounds, you should aim for this) This is good because you can do things with the stage that are funny to see and are lame if compared to say a movie, but just adds to the whole feel and humour o the stage and makes it come alive. One example would be the guy playing fester shinetop go behind a screen, a fake body suit gets thrown over and then some other guy dressed as lechuck comes out the other side. If it's done nice and smoothly, it'll look great and people would stuill be able to figure out how it was done and that makes it funny. If such a clothing screen just happened to appear in the captains cabin in the ship, that's even better. But simplicity is your key, if people are guessing how something is being done, they're not paying attention to the story, if they can figure it out on the spot, laugh about it and then leave it, you've done your job.

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I agree with you on the simplicty of the sets (hence the Brecht line I was hinting at), but what you said--

some people do plays because they haven't got the cash or expertise to do a movie.
Is just not true. These days making amataeur movies isn't that much expensive than putting on a play (in fact, if you don't have help from the school which provides some costumes, props and of course a stage, it can be much more expensive than amateur film-making, especially if you run a lot of plays, as with film it's a one-off payment for the camera) and putting on a play takes the same if not more expertise than making a film. I'd say more, actually.
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Originally posted by Gabez

Is just not true. These days making amataeur movies isn't that much expensive than putting on a play (in fact, if you don't have help from the school which provides some costumes, props and of course a stage, it can be much more expensive than amateur film-making, especially if you run a lot of plays, as with film it's a one-off payment for the camera) and putting on a play takes the same if not more expertise than making a film. I'd say more, actually.

 

Hmm, true. Then again, there are more reasons why one may choose to do a play rather than a film, like the experiance of seeing audiences reaction as it is being directed live and the rush of opening night being just about everynight of the play and so on. And just seeing everything fall into place there and then is an experiance you can't get in film as wehn the film comes out, you know it's going to go as planned (film wise) but when you see it all going to plan on a stage, it's even better.

 

And yes, I was wrong, play's do generally take more expertise considering you have a load of rehersals, but you don't have "takes", when people see the play, they see everything being done in continuity and hopefully perfectly, which does need a lot of expertise.

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But once a play is fiished it does (idealy) look perfect. The difference is that with plays you have to do it live, with film you can play around with the luxury of time.

 

Also whilst films don't have an immediate audience or a "rush" from performing, it has different advantages, like the way a film can last forever whilst a play is just i n people's memories, or how you can watch yourself perform which you obviously can't do in a play

 

But of course we're over-generalising here, which is silly. Bottom line is that plays and cinema are very different mediums and shouldn't really be compared.

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  • 3 weeks later...

UPDATE:

 

I finished the first draft several weeks back.

 

The script has been edited and looked through for spelling errors, gramatical stuff....

 

Got LucasArts involved (yeah I know they probably wouldn't have found out but hey) basically we just have to work out the legal issues, not too much of a problem, they'll be faxing us the paperwork later this week.

 

Head of the Drama Department's reading the script now, but it'll be like two weeks before she'll even probably read it and she's basically going to skim over it.

 

Principal has to approve of it, considering last year she allowed us to do a play I wrote about terrorism and violence.... I'm sure a rousing pirate adventure should get passed by alright.

 

Hope to cast by November if not sooner... it'll be hopefully preformed in mid spring. April-May...

 

Working on a promotional poster for the show. It'll be in oil pastel showing LeChuck's ship sailing to Monkey Island and at the top will be going counterclockwise Guybrush, Elaine, and then LeChuck (who will be in the center of the sun) This will be really cool!!!

 

The zombie pirates it sounds like are going to be more Pirates of the Caribbean styled, with like flesh hanging off, but they'll all still be in blacklight.

 

We're going to have tshirts made for the play, and then also I'm looking into having glasses made with the logo of the play printed on it.

 

For those of you not close enough to see it, we're going to have it videotaped so you can get a copy.

 

And that's it for now guys...

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We finally got the necessary paperwork from LucasArts to continue onward with a Monkey Island play.

 

Paying for a tape version is the more likely approach as it would be difficult to fit a two hour play onto the internet, and I don't know how to do that yet. :(

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Despite Lucasarts letting you do the play, I doubt they'd let you sell tapes of their copywrtighted stuff, even if it is your rendition of it, I'd think you'd need some more permission from them first.

 

Still, good luck with it all, keep us all posted.

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  • 1 month later...

Monkey island is slowly coming together.

 

The good news is people are excited about this. We just finished up our fall play. We went out to dinner a couple of nights ago and I was explaining the story of Monkey island to people who didn't know using stickfigures. A lot of people want to be involved because they know I'll be directing. Many are skeptical because it was a video game.... but once they read the script they'll change their minds.

I have a bunch of the cast already figured out. It's the minor roles that I'm having difficulty and won't know until we hold auditions which'll be in the next couple of weeks.

I have a meeting with the head of the drama department this tuesday and that will get things in motion!!! I've been trying to have a meeting with her for the past couple of weeks but she keeps missing them.

 

The bad news is that serious doubt has fallen over whether or not it is plausible to do the play and we'll need a teacher with us everyday we're in the auditorium rehearsing. We also have to compete for space against the spring musical "Bye Bye Birdie."

I will have to defend my case this tuesday and if all goes well, "Monkey island" will finally be underway.

 

I'm working with this girl in art on a giant promotional poster for Monkey Island. It's going to have LeChuck's ship sailing to Monkey Island with a fiery sunset. In the sun will be LeChuck followed right above him by Elaine and then Guybrush. The faces of the characters will be that of the actors portraying them. I'm planning on taking it to either Kinkos or Staples and getting two copies made of it. One would be auctioned off for the play, the second one would be signed by the entire cast and framed for the drama department so that future drama kids can see what they can accomplish here. I'll see if I can get a picture of it up in the months to come.

 

A big concern now is budget. It would be so easy to spend a hundred dollars on prosthetic pieces for the zombies.... but I think I'm going to be able to avoid that by going a different route with them. I'm trying to keep the play under $500 which probably is unlikely for a big time play... a lot of the stuff I already have.

 

A lot of people are volunteering to work on the show, donate money, or other forms of work which is really truly amazing cause these people are getting behind a dream and just running with it. Monkey Island will be great, let's just get hope I can get through Tuesday.

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Monkey Island auditions will be held on December 9th.

I'm so glad that we finally got it taken care of.

 

I put up sign up sheets today and talk of Monkey Island was EVERYWHERE!

 

They took them down though cause we have to wait until AFTER Bye Bye Birdie musical audition tryouts before we can put them up. Because the teacher doesn't want to miss out on people not trying out for her show because of Monkey.

 

But people are excited,

people started signing up....

 

it's good times guys.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I agree, this sounds cool.

 

I'd audition, but I'm not in your school and I'm not even a yank.

 

Can you post the script on here after you've done it. Then others can enjoy the play too

 

unless you copyright the script and then we're screwed. But you can't copyright it as it's lucasart's anyway. :D

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True, but the script is copyrighted to LucasArts so it really isn't mine to show off and have people enjoy

 

:(

 

I'll take massive pictures though...

 

I just casted the show last week. It's going to be fun.

 

The only problem now is budget. The play is going to be roughly the cost of a fall play with royalties and.... In the words of king andre, " but is it an awful lot of money?" yeah....

 

so I have to figure that out when I get a moment to breathe... maybe santa can get me a big check.

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