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For Every Adaptation Belonging to Me as Good Belongs to You: Analyzing Intertextuality in Lauren Gunderson’s Literature-Based Plays

head shot of Brian Luck

Name: Brian Luck
Majors: English and Theatre & Dance
Minor: Education
Advisors: Dr. Shirley Huston-Findley and Dr. Susanna Sacks

This Independent Study explores the ways in which playwright Lauren Gunderson adapts classic literature in her plays Toil and Trouble, which retells William Shakespeare’s Macbeth; Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley, which extends Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice; and I and You, which centers Walt Whitman’s “Song of Myself.” Though these plays are not direct adaptations, they use adaptation strategies to create new stories for the stage. Through the lens of adaptation theory—building on the work of Vincent Murphy, Linda Hutcheon, and Aristotle—I perform close-readings of the plays themselves and cross- readings alongside the original works. Through these strategies, I uncover the goals within each of Gunderson’s works and the tactics she uses to achieve them, setting me up to direct a production of I and You, and turning theory into praxis.

Posted in Comments Enabled, Independent Study, Symposium 2022.


10 responses to “For Every Adaptation Belonging to Me as Good Belongs to You: Analyzing Intertextuality in Lauren Gunderson’s Literature-Based Plays”

  1. Jenna Smith says:

    You are such a talented human, Brian! Well done and thank you for sharing 🙂

  2. Leslie Wingard says:

    Good to see you (and your childhood photo 😉) at the English Dpt’s senior party on Wednesday, Brian! Your English Dpt family is beyond proud of your success 👊🏾🙌🏾.

  3. Emily Baird says:

    Congratulations Brian! Your production was fabulous! 🙂

  4. Claire Eager says:

    I love the connection between academic study, dramatic production, and sheer enjoyment of literature and drama here, Brian! Great job, and best wishes for the future.

  5. Chan Sok Park says:

    Brian, this is such a well-presented project. Wishing you the best for what’s ahead in your life journey! Congratulations!

  6. Emily Davis says:

    Awesome IS Brian! What is one thing you wish you were able to deep-dive into more?

  7. Brian Luck says:

    Hi Emily! In this presentation, I really just talked about the patterns I found between the works, but each play had a lot of really interesting pieces. In my actual IS, I went really in-depth with analyzing each work, but I would have loved to spend more time analyzing the Christmas at Pemberley trilogy.

  8. Maya Rodemer says:

    Congratulations Brian!! You are too talented and I feel really old 😉

  9. Abby McFarren says:

    Congrats Brian! So excited to learn about this part of your IS

  10. April Gamble says:

    Brian, I am so happy to read about your work, and I so admire all that you have done at Wooster.

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