The New Victory Theater To Produce World Premiere Stage Adaptation Of WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE
Previewed last night at a private event at the New York Public Library, The Maurice Sendak Foundation announced that it has commissioned the first major and only full-length stage play adaptation of Where the Wild Things Are. This stage adaptation follows a 1984 opera and 2009 film based on the classic children's story. The New Victory Theater (a project of The New 42nd Street), New York City's premier performing arts nonprofit entirely devoted to kids and families, has committed to produce the play, marking its first foray into original production. The creative team for the production is in formation and will be announced at a later date.
The Foundation commissioned Sendak's dear friend and collaborator, Arthur Yorinks, to write the script. "Where the Wild Things Are is Maurice's most renowned book and we are regularly approached to recreate it for the stage," said Lynn Caponera, The Maurice Sendak Foundation President. "It was imperative to us that we develop a version that remains true to his vision. We chose Arthur because he has a unique perspective that can accurately expand on what Maurice's book implies both literally and symbolically."
"Maurice and I believed that good theater for a family audience should not talk down to its audience and should in no way diminish what is presented for the sake of its audience," said Arthur Yorinks, playwright. "The New Victory Theater has always been aligned with us and agree that what matters is the quality of the work. The Maurice Sendak Foundation feels that there could not be a better organization to produce this important play."
"We at The New Victory Theater and The New 42nd Street are incredibly honored to have the opportunity to develop and produce the world premiere of Where the Wild Things Are for the stage," said Cora Cahan, President of The New 42nd Street. "The work is deeply personal to us not only because of our wonderful and long-standing relationships with Arthur and Maurice, but because our parents read the beloved book to us and we read it to our children. For many of the young people who come to see the show at The New Victory Theater, Where the Wild Things Are will be their very first theatrical experience. We aim to make a stage work worthy of the book that will capture the imagination of both adults and kids."
The Foundation remains steadfast in preserving Maurice Sendak's artistic legacy and will remaster and reissue Sendak's books with publishing partner HarperCollins in the coming years. Earlier this month, HarperCollins published Presto and Zesto in Limboland, a book discovered years after Sendak's passing, co-authored by Arthur Yorinks. This is the third book collaboration for Yorinks and Sendak, predated by The Miami Giant (1995) and Mommy? (2006).
As previously announced, the University of Connecticut will house all Sendak's book art in the Northeast Children's Literature Collection by March 2019. Construction on an archive attached to Sendak's Connecticut home has also been completed and will open to the public, by appointment only, in late 2019. This archive will house the rest of Sendak's art. Additionally, the Sendak Fellowship & Workshop that has been a part of the Foundation since Sendak was alive will continue in 2019, taking place on the grounds of his home.
For more information on Arthur Yorinks visit www.arthuryorinks.com.