Created By: Delphi on September 23, 2012 Last Edited By: Delphi on July 3, 2013

Depending on the Production

Certain things in a play differ from production to production

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In productions of famous plays, certain things may be portrayed differently in different productions.

Common examples include:

Contrast Original Cast Precedent.

  • In West Side Story; do the Jets try to rape Anita, or just beat her up? It should be noted that the original Broadway script mentions nothing explicitly about rape (no groping, clothes-tearing, etc), but it could still be interpreted that way. It's widely seen as rape since that's what The Movie went with.
  • When a production thinks Jud Frye from Oklahoma! is too much of a sympathetic Anti-Villain, they may seek to fix that. The "Curly desperately tries to stop Jud from going on a date with Laurie" scene may have implications added to it that Jud will rape Laurie if he gets her alone, and some productions may even imply that Jud is a Serial Killer.
  • In Sweeney Todd, the teeth-pulling scene is often cut. Also, how much of a pervert Judge Turpin is may vary from play to play. Some productions have his masturbating when he watches Joanna through the peephole, and some may go whole hog and imply that he molests her. How bloody the murders are also varies; some go for realism, some for High-Pressure Blood, and others do it entirely in shadow discretion shots.
  • Different productions of King Lear differ in, among other things, what to do with the character of the Fool. He or she disappears halfway through the play, leaving a strange What Happened to the Mouse?-like effect. Some productions go out of their way to note the parallels between the Fool and Cordelia, while others go so far as to have the Fool being Cordelia herself in disguise.
Community Feedback Replies: 14
  • September 23, 2012
    Wackd
  • September 24, 2012
    Folamh3
    • Different productions of King Lear differ in, among other things, what to do with the character of the Fool. He or she disappears halfway through the play, leaving a strange What Happened To The Mouse-like effect. Some productions go out of their way to note the parallels between the Fool and Cordelia, while others go so far as to have the Fool being Cordelia herself in disguise.
  • September 28, 2012
    DragonQuestZ
    Would this count sets, props, and costumes?
  • September 29, 2012
    Delphi
    ^ No, that's more "Depending on the Budget."
  • September 29, 2012
    DragonQuestZ
    ^ That's assuming different productions of a play, both with the same budget, will do the same things.
  • January 31, 2013
    randomsurfer
    Bump.

    Hamlet may be acting mad, or he may be genuinly torn between "to be or not to be."
  • July 2, 2013
    Duncan
    Different productions of Twelfth Night and As You Like It may play with how soon the male paramours catch on that their buddies are actually Sweet Polly Oliver- anything from them figuring out that they're a woman, having a Sweet On Polly Oliver time, or being completely taken in.
  • July 2, 2013
    CaptainPeregrin
    • In Swan Lake, Odette and Odile are traditionally played by the same ballerina, but it's still not uncommon for the part to be split, particularly since they're such difficult roles on their own. There are also several possible endings, ranging from a Happily Ever After to Everybody Dies.

    From what I've seen, I think ballets in general tend to have a wide variety of endings Depending On The Production, but I'm not an expert.
  • July 2, 2013
    crazysamaritan
  • July 3, 2013
    Antigone3
    Do you want this to be strictly real world performances, or are you open to fictional examples? The novel Light Thickens, by Ngaio Marsh, is built around a production of Macbeth. Early in the novel, the director comments that he's tossing out the scenes with Hecate because he doesn't think they're part of Shakespeare's original script.
  • July 3, 2013
    Duncan
    ^ That fictional example works, especially as there is real-life precedent for that. Many scholars think the Hecate scene was written by someone else and interpolated- it's something of a Big Lipped Alligator Moment in the script (Hecate never appears again after her one scene), and it's often cut.
  • July 3, 2013
    Duncan
    There are several scenes in part II of Angels In America that author Tony Kushner says are optional (it's a very long play to begin with). Productions may choose to cut them or leave them in.
  • July 3, 2013
    Madrugada
    I think that currently, this is too broad to be a trope. Almost anything in any play can be varied if the director wants to change it. It would be tropeable if it's limited to the things that the writers specifically notes are open to variation, or that they leave intentionally vague that are not usually vague.
  • July 3, 2013
    randomsurfer
    In The Fantasticks there are two songs which, depending on the production, you'd see one of them. The original has "It Depends on What You Pay" which is about rapes - but not rape, rather "rape" in the sense of abduction such as The Rape of the Lock - and sings lovingly about rape. The other, which you can't always get the rights to, is called "Theatrical Abductions."
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