I just completed a newly revised version of BRICK The Play that I hope will become definitive.
This new version is shorter that the MS2009 production, but longer than the DRAMAC edition. I've permanently cut the Lug Chase (one of the film's most satisfying cinematic moments, but nearly impossible to replicate on stage) and discovered a brand new scene where Brain confronts Kara backstage.
One big change is structural in nature, as Brendan's final confrontation with Laura on the football field starts the play. And we return to this point twice more in Act I and three times in Act 2.
I decided to use this flashback device as both a way to clarify plot points and to emphasize what I feel is the main conflict in the story: will Brendan trust Laura.
Quite often it is the noir protagonist's chief struggle: will he believe the girl he knows he shouldn't? For BRICK, I think it's central. Nothing in the story matters as much as Brendan discovering who put Emily "in front of the gun." That's the mystery he's unraveling, it's what compels him forward and drives all the action.
By making his final confrontation with Laura the skeleton we hang the story on, we ask our audience to struggle with Brendan. Will we trust her?
The other big change is one rooted in the play's growing theatricality. I've always talked about how Rian's film is joyfully cinematic...at times even playful in its cinementality.
As such, I believe the play should be just as joyful, theatrically. As fun a play, as BRICK is a movie.
From the start, I've set the play in a kind of "limbo," or non-specific place that becomes all the locations in the film with lighting and a few small set pieces. But now, I've enhanced that theatricality by placing nearly every character on the stage for the entire show, watching from several rows of bleachers that line the upstage wall.
This means fewer blackouts for scene changes (the MS2009 production had a blackout and scene change every three minutes or so), while also creating a visual "line-up" of sorts for the audience. As the story unfolds, the audience may now look at the various suspects and think about their role in the mystery.
I think this is an exciting update to the play that truly makes it a piece of theatre, as opposed to a cinema adaptation.
Want to check out the new version of the script? Drop me a line, and I'll send you the PDF file. I'd love to hear your feedback!