A new play based on the 1958 novel by Rona Jaffe. Adapted & directed by Julie Kramer. Developed with Amy Wilson. NYC premiere Oct 2012.
We’re 95WordsPerMinute—director/writer Julie Kramer and actor/writer Amy Wilson. We’re producing our fifth project in nearly two decades of working together: the new play The Best of Everything, based on the bestselling novel by Rona Jaffe, premiering October 2, 2012 at HERE (the OBIE-winning theater in Soho).
About The Best of Everything
The Best of Everything is an adaptation of Rona Jaffe’s 1958 bestselling novel. The book was an immediate and slightly scandalous bestseller in its day—we like to think of it as the Fifty Shades of Grey of its time, only better written. It was also the basis for a hit movie starring Joan Crawford, best known today for its slightly campy excesses (as are most movies starring Joan Crawford). But we think the book is much more than that, and we can’t wait to explore it all in this production.
The play tells the story of Caroline Bender, April Morrison, and Gregg Adams: secretaries at Fabian Publishing who are young and impressionable and new to the big city. But unlike their fellow secretaries Mary Agnes Russo and Brenda Kapinski, they’re not just there to kill time until their weddings to their high school sweethearts. These girls want thrilling careers, gay adventures, and a nice boy to take them out to dinner. And husbands and children too, of course, in due time. These days, we call that “having it all,” and endlessly debate whether it’s possible. These girls call it The Best of Everything, and they wonder the same thing.
While April and Gregg fall into disastrous love affairs, Caroline finds herself in love with her job. But there’s a downside to being too ambitious; one wouldn’t want to end up like Miss Amanda Farrow, the only female editor at Fabian, peaked of pallor and all alone at the too-late-for-her age of 36.
The Best of Everything is a sexy, funny, raw and surprisingly current novel. In our adaptation, we hope to bring all that to life-- showing just how much has changed for women since the 1950s, as well as how much has not.
Our theatrical adaptation of The Best of Everything was first developed in the Adaptations Workshop at The Directors Company, and then workshopped in the OBIE-winning New Georges’ Spring Development Series, with the blessing of the Rona Jaffe Foundation. This production is a part of HEREstay, HERE’s curated rental program, which provides artists with subsidized space and equipment, as well as technical support.
What We Need
Putting on a play in New York City is really expensive.
Putting on a play with eight actors? Even more so. After paying for salaries, insurance, rights, rehearsal space, union contributions, lights, sound, and publicity, here’s where we are asking for your help.
We need to raise $6000 to create the set and wardrobe for The Best of Everything. Our set designer hopes to transport audiences back to 1952 by creating a typing pool with period desks, chairs, typewriters, intercoms, and rotary telephones. Those desks also need to be able to move quickly offstage for the scenes that don’t take place in the typing pool. (Our girls have quite a life outside the office). We need to build and/or acquire all of these items, hire people to help us transport and load them into the theater, and take them out when we’re done.
Then there’s the costumes: three full outfits each for six women and two men, including pillbox hats and fedoras, vintage pumps and wingtips, white gloves, grey flannel suits and skirt suits with circle skirts, and girdles and crinolines and conical bras.
Meeting this fundraising goal would mean we could bring this era to life in real style. It’s probably equivalent to Megan Draper’s wardrobe budget for a single episode of Mad Men. But have no fear: theater people are scrappy.
Please support our project.
Have a question? If the info above doesn't help, you can ask the project creator directly.
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You will receive our sincere and undying gratitude! (And we can get one pair of stockings.)Estimated delivery:
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You will be listed in our program as a supporter of the show! (And we can get one pair of vintage pumps or wingtips.)Estimated delivery:
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You'll get the above reward, plus one ticket to our opening night complete with swank celebration in the HERE Café! (And we can rent one skirt suit with a circle skirt or one grey flannel suit for a month.)Estimated delivery:
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You’ll get all of the above rewards, plus we’ll send you a copy of the slightly naughty 1958 novel, and invite you to an open rehearsal to see the work in progress! (And we can get all of our typewriters.)Estimated delivery:
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You'll get all of the above rewards, plus a COMMAND PERFORMANCE in your name! We help you choose an available performance from our schedule. Then we’ll give you 20 tickets to bring your friends, and a photo op with the cast after the show. (And we can build platforms to create different playing areas, plus a window frame to project a stylized New York City skyline as seen from Fabian Publishing's 35th floor.)Estimated delivery:
- (30 days)