NARRATOR:Listen to a conversation between a student and his drama professor.
FEMALE PROFESSOR: Hi, Robert. So how’s your paper going?<-MALE STUDENT:-> Pretty well. It’s a lot of work, but I’m getting into it, so I don’t mind.I’ll probably have some questions for you in the next week or so.FEMALE PROFESSOR: OK, glad to hear you’re progressing so well.
MALE STUDENT: Um, there was something you said at the end of the lecture on Tuesday, something about there not really being any original plays…FEMALE PROFESSOR: “There’s no such thing as an original play.” Yes, that’s the direct quote from Charles Mee.
MALE STUDENT: Mee. That’s with two E’s, right?FEMALE PROFESSOR: Yep, M-E-E. You’ll probably be hearing a lot about him. He’s becoming a pretty famous playwright.MALE STUDENT: Yeah, well, I’ve been thinking about his quote… I mean, there must be some original plays out there.
FEMALE PROFESSOR: I’ll grant that he’s overstating things somewhat. But the theater does have a long tradition of borrowing.Take Shakespeare; like most writers of his day, he borrowed plots from other sources unabashedly.And the ancient Greeks, all the plays they wrote were based on earlier plays, poems, and myths.
MALE STUDENT: And “borrowing” applies to plays being written nowadays, too?FEMALE PROFESSOR: To some extent, yes. Mee, for example, he’s made a career out of remaking plays, one of which we’ll be studying soon.It’s called “Full Circle.” And Mee based it on an earlier play by a German playwright.MALE STUDENT: Ohhh… “Full Circle.” Wasn’t that based on “The Caucasian Chalk Circle?”FEMALE PROFESSOR: That’s right.
MALE STUDENT: I remember hearing about that play from my acting coach.FEMALE PROFESSOR: Okay. Well, “The Caucasian Chalk Circle” was based on a play by yet another German playwright, someone who was fascinated by the ancient literatures of China, India, and Persia.And many of his works were adapted from those literatures, including his version of “The Chalk Circle,” which was based on an early Chinese play.
MALE STUDENT: So this “Full Circle” play by Charles Mee, the one we’re gonna study, it’s like the third or fourth remake.Wow! And we complain that Hollywood keeps making the same movies over and over again!
FEMALE PROFESSOR: Well, part of what Mee’s trying to do is drive home the point, that, one, theater’s always a collaborative effort…MALE STUDENT: Well, yeah, the playwright, the director, the actors, people have to work together to produce a play.FEMALE PROFESSOR: Yes, of course, but Mee means historically; the dramatic literature of early periods is hugely influential in shaping later dramatic works.
MALE STUDENT: So it’s like when a playwright bases a play on a previous playwright’s theme or message. It’s like they’re talking to each other, collaborating, uh, just not at the same time, right?FEMALE PROFESSOR: Exactly. And the second point Mee’s trying to make, I think, is that it’s legitimate to retell an old story in a new way… in a way that’s, uh, more in line with contemporary concerns.So, when playwrights reinvent or update an earlier play, it shouldn’t be construed as a lack of imagination or an artistic failure.
学生：嗯…周二快下课的时候， 你说了一些关于"其实不存在原创戏剧"(的观点)…教授：“没有原创戏剧这一回事”。是的，这是Charles Mee的原话。
学生：那么，借鉴也适用于当下写出的戏剧吗？教授：某种程度上，是的。比如说Mee，他以重写戏剧为职业。其中一篇我们很快会学到。这个剧本名叫《Full Circle》，它是Mee基于一个德国剧作家的一篇早期剧作而改写出来的。学生：哦，《Full Circle》。是不是基于《Caucasian Chalk Circle》？教授：没错。
学生：我记得从我的表演教练那儿听说过。好的。《The Caucasian Chalk Circle》又是基于另一个德国剧作家的作品，这个人对中国、印度和波斯的古文学很着迷。他的很多作品都是由那些文学作品改编的，其中他的那版《Chalk Circle》，是基于一部早期中国戏剧而写出来的。
学生：那么这个Charles Mee写的《Full Circle》，就是我们要学的那版，应该是第3、第4次的重制版了。哇…好莱坞把一部电影翻拍一遍又一遍，我们都在抱怨呢。
教授：嗯, Mee这么做的部分目的是强调：第一，戏剧从来都需要合作。学生：没错。编剧、导演和演员，大家必须通力协作才能创作出一部戏剧。教授： 是的。但是Mee说的是历史意义上的合作。早期的戏剧文学对后期的戏剧作品有非常大的影响。
MALE STUDENT：Um, there was something you said at the end of the lecture on Tuesday, something about there not really being any original plays…
FEMALE PROFESSOR： “There’s no such thing as an original play.”Yes, that’s the direct quote from Charles Mee MEE.
MALE STUDENT：Mee. That’s with two E’s, right?
FEMALE PROFESSOR：Yep, M-E-E. You’ll probably be hearing a lot about him. He’s becoming a pretty famous playwright.
MALE STUDENT：Yeah, well, I’ve been thinking about his quote… I mean, there must be some original plays out there.