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It's often said of tense, character-oriented horror that it'd work just as well on stage as it did on screen; yet it rarely comes to fruition. Looking to follow through, James Michael Shoberg and his Pennsylvania-set Rage of the Stage Players are celebrating Halloween this year with an adaptation of The Butcher Brothers' contemporary cult vampire film, THE HAMILTONS, and the writer/director spoke to Fango about the transition that goes up this Thursday October 21 at the South Park Theatre (Corrigan Dr. South Park, PA 15129).
FANGORIA: How did you get involved with a stage version of THE
HAMILTONS? What attracted you to the piece?
JAMES MICHAEL SHOBERG: I watched THE HAMILTONS for the
first time several years ago, and was immediately drawn to it. I actually tried
to reach the Butcher Brothers shortly after, but was unable to locate a
direct channel, so I decided to move on to other projects at the time. Then,
last year, with several of my original scripts beginning to grow in popularity, I decided that maybe my streak of good fortune in 2011 might carry
over to my goal of gaining their attention, and it did! Almost humorously,
this second attempt was far less intensive, or even resourceful, as it was just
a matter of tracking them to Facebook (where else?), and sending them a message
from there. I expected either no reply whatsoever, or perhaps a gentle
"thanks, but no thanks," with the underlying sentiment of "you
kook." After all, we are a small, self-supporting group, composed of
voluntary artists from around the Pittsburgh area; what we could we possibly
Amazingly though, they were both kind and receptive to the
proposal, and seemingly ecstatic over the prospect my adapting their script for
the stage. It was with their backing that we were able to approach Lionsgate
Films for the final approval. It still feels so surreal to me that such a rare
opportunity was granted to a warped, little guerrilla theatre company such as
FANG: Do you think the film will translate well to stage? Are
there any particular challenges you've faced in adapting?
SHOBERG: Actually, upon
first viewing it, what compelled me to contact The Butcher Brothers about a
possible stage adaptation of their film, was how much it flowed like a stage
play. I could imagine just how well the story's drama and visceral conflict
would translate to the stage. Briefly
featured film venues, which aren't necessarily "theatrically
feasible" on a small scale, such as the inside of a vehicle for example,
will be slightly altered or conceptualized. The set itself will be an
amalgamation of multiple locations seen in the film, even down to different
rooms in the Hamilton household, which can be viewed simultaneously.
FANG: Is it an entirely new cast?
SHOBERG: The cast for the our adaptation of THE HAMILTONS here in Pittsburgh, is entirely new. Each performer is originating his or her own particular character, as it has been interpreted for the stage version of the story.
FANG: How long does the show play?
SHOBERG: THE HAMILTONS premieres on October 21st, 2011. It will continue October 22nd, 27th-29th, and have a
special Halloween performance on the 31st. Finally, it will run November
You can find learn more and reserve tickets at the Rage of the Stage's official Facebook, or call (724) 292-8427.
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