Jeffrey Hatcher Will Pen Broadway-Aimed Adaptation of "A Confederacy of Dunces"; David Esbjornson to Direct

By Michael Gioia
March 11, 2014

Shelton Street Theatrical, LLC plans to launch a stage adaptation of the Pulitzer Prize-winning novel "A Confederacy of Dunces" by American novelist John Kennedy Toole.



The work has been adapted by playwright Jeffrey Hatcher (Tuesdays with Morrie, Never Gonna Dance) and will be under the direction of David Esbjornson (Driving Miss Daisy).

"'Confederacy' and its ultra-intelligent, arrogant and gigantic protagonist, Ignatius J. Reilly will be rolling out," said producers Bob Guza and John Hardy of Shelton Street in a statement. "This great novel has never broken through, on stage or on screen… In fact, it has only seen an extremely few, contractually limited, regional stage productions and has completely, famously, defied being made into a motion picture. It almost sounds like a confederacy against 'A Confederacy.' Now we're aiming to finally launch Ignatius, although we prefer to say 'unleash Ignatius!'"

A series of New York readings, beginning this spring, and developmental productions are planned, with A Confederacy of Dunces aiming to bow on Broadway. Additional details, including casting, will be announced at a later date.

"A Confederacy of Dunces," published posthumously by LSU Press in 1980, "tells the story of Ignatius J. Reilly, his exploits, misadventures and all-around insultingly brilliant behavior in 1960s New Orleans," according to press notes.

Following Toole's suicide in 1969 at 31, his mother, Thelma, published "A Confederacy of Dunces" with the help of author Walker Percy. The following year it won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.