Dian Fossey's GORILLAS IN THE MIST to Be Adapted to New Stage Play Featuring Jim Henson Puppetry

By: May. 25, 2017
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BWW has learned that Academy Award-nominated screenwriter Anna Phelan (Gorillas in the Mist, Mask, Girl, Interrupted) will adapt the book GORILLAS IN THE MIST by Dian Fossey into a stage play utilizing captivating puppetry. Jim Henson'S CREATURE SHOP (The Dark Crystal) has been engaged to design the gorillas, and Tony Award-winning producer Ryan Hugh Mackey (A GENTLEMAN'S GUIDE TO LOVE & MURDER) will develop the stage adaptation.

Phelan said, "I was interested in the idea of writing about the true-life, larger-than-life Dian Fossey for the stage; and using puppets to portray the mountain gorilla is an intriguing meld of true-life and illusion." Mackey added, "There's an incredibly powerful story in Dian Fossey's life and legacy, as well as the gorillas, and I am very excited to begin this journey." The remaining creative team will be announced at a later date.

2017 marks the 50th Anniversary year of Karisoke Research Center established by Fossey. "Dian gave her life to the gorillas and to celebrate her memory, we plan to establish a charitable partnership using the play to provide the gorillas with a lifetime funding." Mackey says.

Gorillas in the Mist was published in 1983 recounting Fossey's encounters while studying Rwandan mountain gorillas. The best selling book was later adapted into a five-time Oscar nominated and Golden Globe winning film starring Sigourney Weaver. This fall National Geographic will premiere a documentary on Fossey with Ms. Weaver narrating.

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