FUN HOME's Alison Bechdel On Theatre, Influences & Inspiration
Alison Bechdel's graphic novel FUN HOME serves as the basis of the warmly received new musical of the same name, currently playing Off-Broadway with a recently announced extension through the end of the year, and the author herself comments on the new musical adaptation as part of a new interview.
Outlining her affiliation with theatre prior to FUN HOME, or lack thereof, Bechdel says, "My mother was an actress so I'd see her in plays growing up. Other than that, musicals, as a form, were just complete alien territory to me. In fact, I think that's partly why I agreed to the whole project. I didn't feel a particular investment. I couldn't even imagine my story as a musical. I felt like I could let go of it."
Commenting on the risk of a stage versus a screen adaptation of her novel, Bechdel relates, "If it were bad, not many people would see it. It wouldn't go on existing in the world like a movie would."
Furthermore, Bechdel opines, "You don't see people reading your book. You do see people watching a play. Which is, I guess, why people write and perform in plays because you get that immediate feedback. But it's also a very emotional medium. Musicals can be very emotionally powerful. I think that Lisa and Jeanine drew something out of my book that I was not able to get to, a really potent, cathartic feeling."
As for witnessing three versions of herself portrayed in the piece, Bechdel states, "I can't put that into language yet. It's very strange and surreal. It also feels like a tremendous gift, because they got so much so right. It's a really amazing feeling to see my family resurrected in this way."
"The three Alisons correspond to my own idea of myself. I'm someone who was always writing about my life. So that, in a way, feels natural to me," Bechdel concludes.
Check out the original article on the matter here.