From Dungeons & Dragons to directing, I'm interested in exploring different ways of telling and experiencing stories. In the summer of 2017, I directed Marina, an adaptation of Shakespeare's Pericles. Here I've written about that process and collected some of my favorite photos of the production.

More information about my theater experience can be found on my Theater Resume.


July 2017

Marina is the story of a woman, separated from her family, who must defend herself from enemies on all sides while remaining true to herself.

I adapted Marina from Shakespeare's Pericles (1609), choosing to cut Acts 1 and 2 to focus on the story of Pericles's daughter Marina. The only surviving text for Pericles is a "bad quarto"—a script which is largely corrupted, likely having been reconstructed by memory from actors or audience members. The Oxford edition of Pericles is unique among most modern editions, making progressive edits to attempt to reconstruct the play as Shakespeare intended. For this reason, I chose to use the Oxford Pericles as my main source for Marina

Cutting the first half of Pericles made it necessary to heavily change the lines of the narrator, John Gower. Originally conceived as a reincarnation of the 14th-century English poet, his lines were all rhyming couplets. This fact made it difficult to edit the narration to fit the other large changes to the script, so I collaborated with the actor to rewrite his lines in modern English.

During this process, I learned I wasn't the first person to cut the first half of Pericles and retitle the play Marina. In 1738, the British writer George Lillo adapted Pericles as well, making much more substantial changes to the characters, plot, and verse. I read through his script and preferred his lines for some of the side characters (Bawd, Bolt, and the pirates), so I used his lines for some of their scenes in our version.

I'm very grateful to the talented cast and crew I got to work with on this production. The final product truly exceeded any expectations I had going into the process. The full cast and crew credits are on the MIT Shakespeare Ensemble's website.

Gower and Marina. Each section of narration in modern English was accompanied by a pantomime of the characters acting out the described events. 

Bawd and Bolt in the brothel. Here you can see the space and set design well. As much as possible, the set was modular, with the white wooden boxes being used in each location. Each location had one or two defining unique pieces as well. Here the rug and red curtains helped to define the brothel. 

Marina reuniting with her mother, Thaisa, as Pericles looks on. In the final scene of the play, we get emotional completion as Marina finally rejoins her family. 

Lysimachus, Helicanus, and Marina are frozen as Pericles collapses, receiving a vision from Diana. In the original script, Pericles suddenly falls asleep, and the other characters exit, leaving him there. Instead, I chose to have the characters freeze during the vision, interrupting the momentum of the play less. 

The goddess Diana. In a literal deus ex machina, Diana tells Pericles where his wife, presumed dead, has been living for their years of separation. The stage direction for her entrance is "DIANA descends from the heavens," which seemed difficult, so I opted to have her part the upstage curtain for her entrance, descending from the heavens in a theatrical sense. 

The cast and crew of Marina. Although the play was only 60 minutes long, the cast size and technical levels were on par with those of a normal full-length production by the MIT Shakespeare Ensemble. 

Watch a recording of the performance:

More information about my directing experience can be found on my Theater Resume.

Photo Credits: Tal Scully

< Back to my Theater Portfolio