Up to this point we have been looking at the problems involved in making the transition from the novel to the screenplay. Sometimes the source material for a screenplay is a theatrical play. Sometimes the adapter is the writer of the original play. What problems are involved when starting with a play? Is it easier to adapt from a play, since a play follows many of the same dramatic rules as the screenplay? Are the similarities between the play and the screenplay greater than the differences between the screenplay and the novel? Which plays have been successfully adapted into screenplays? This chapter examines some of these questions and others that may arise as one adapts a play into a screenplay.
We will begin by examining some plays ...