April 17, 2011

Pudd’nhead Wilson

Pudd’nhead Wilson, a stage adaptation and reinterpretation of the Mark Twain novel of the same name, was commissioned by The Acting Company, Margo Harley, producing director. The Acting Company produced Pudd’nhead Wilson and toured it to twenty-two cities in 2001-02.

It is the story of the two sons of Judge Driscoll, the chief citizen of Dawson’s Landing, Missouri. Tom is his legal heir and the child of his wife; Chambers is his child by the slave girl Roxy. When Driscoll threatens to sell Roxy’s son , she switches the babies in their cradles. The two boys grow up with each other’s identities – creating a situation both richly ironic and ultimately tragic.

Bruce Weber of The New York Times called this adaptation “skilled and creative . . . Perhaps most impressively he (Charles Smith) has constructed a narrative frame and a plot twist of his own that darkens even Twain’s dark humor. The play’s final moments provide a layer of grim irony that seems eminently suitable to Twain.”

Production Requirements:

Cast requirements: 8 men (3 African American, 5 Caucasian) 3 women (2 African American, 1 Caucasian)
Set requirements: Unit Set, various locations.
Approximate running time: 2 hours, 10 minutes

Production History: