Suzan-Lori Parks' new adaptation of Henrik Ibsen's Peer Gynt may receive a workshop in the summer of 2003. "We were going to have workshop this summer, but I think it's going to be next summer at this point," said the playwright, who on April 8 won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for her work, Topdog/Underdog.
Parks has a busy schedule. She mentioned a new draft of the Disney musical Hoopz and a screenplay adaptation of a Toni Morrison novel for Oprah Winfrey's production company as two projects that will occupy her time this summer.
The playwright is adapting Peer Gynt for the Public Theater. A spokesperson for the Public said the theatre hoped the new version would culminate in a production.
If it did, it would doubtless cost a pretty penny. Ibsen's sprawling work is seldom staged owing to its length, many scenes and locales and large cast. The play — Ibsen's second major work and quite different from the realist dramas for which he is known — follows the feckless and reckless title character in his partly surreal travels about the planet as he alternately searches for and flees from his identity and purpose in life. The work has typically confounded directors, who find its demands overwhelming. More, securing an actor up to the task of the lead role has proved daunting. The most recent production to reach New York was a Swedish venture by Ingmar Bergman which played the Brooklyn Academy of Music in the early '90s.
Parks is the author of In the Blood, The America Play, Venus and Topdog/Underdog, all of which were presented by the Public Theatre. The Public will mount her Fucking "A" later this year.