New Works in Progress: THE TROUBLE WITH DOUG at TheatreWorks

An interview with TheatreWorks’ Director of New Works, Meredith McDonough, about their upcoming developmental production of 2010 NAMT Festival show The Trouble with Doug, by Will Aronson and Daniel Maté, as part of the New Works Festival this August.

The Trouble with Doug is a contemporary comedic reimagining of Kafka’s Metamorphosis. Thrust together awkwardly under the same roof, Doug, his family and his fiancée all struggle to understand and respond to Doug’s transformation into a giant talking slug.

What drew TheatreWorks to The Trouble with Doug? 
When we saw the presentation in the NAMT Festival two years ago, our whole artistic team was crying with laughter.  I couldn’t wait to read the full script and was so pleased to see how moving the second act is.  It’s that balance of humor and heart that I am always looking for in new work.

Why are you presenting the show as a developmental production vs. a reading?We had offered them a slot in last summer’s New Works Festival, but they had such an exciting opportunity to work on the piece in the United Kingdom with [NAMT member] Royal & Derngate.  When I read the new draft following that reading, I could clearly see that the writers were ready to see the piece on its feet and not behind music stands again!

What is the team hoping to work on during the process?

I won’t speak for them, but we have talked about their continuing interest in finding the right balance between the humor and the depth of this family’s drama.

What are you most excited about for The Trouble with Doug?
I just can’t wait to see the slug transformation live onstage!!  It’s really going to happen!!

Why should people head west and catch The Trouble with Doug and your festival this year?
This summer’s festival has a fantastic lineup. Alongside the Doug team, we are also hosting Paul Gordon (Fest ’06–Emma) and Jay Gruska, as well as Curtis Moore and Tom Mizer (both, Fest ’08–The Legend of Stagecoach Mary).  If you come to our Festival Industry Weekend (Aug. 10-12), you can see all three musicals, our world premiere of Laura Schellhardt’s Upright Grand, and two new play readings, and finish the weekend off with our Meet the Festival Artists panel, where you can hear the teams talk about their processes.  Before and after every reading you’re invited to join the artists in our wine lounge, and really, summer in Palo Alto—it doesn’t get any better!!

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