Back in 1977, “The Shining” by Stephen King hit bookshelves and immediately became a horror success. Only three years later, Jack Nicholson played the main character, Jack Torrance, in the 1980 adaptation of King’s novel.
Now in 2016, “The Shining” receives another interpretation on the stage at the Fargo-Moorhead Community Theater.
“The movie script is quite different than the stage script, it’s much closer to the narrative in the book,” said Anna Carol, artistic director of the FMCT. “People who love the book are going to see the similarities that way.”
Some of the aspects of the movie will be missing because of the nature of their technology: the giant moving topiaries and the hall of blood will be missing. But the FMCT will definitely try to make it as spooky as possible, using sound and lighting, but they’re also relying on audience imagination.
“We’re asking and challenging the audience to make their own interpretations,” Carol said. “You can definitely tell there’s something wrong with the inn but we don’t necessarily role out a giant topiary. We’ve had to reimagine some of these moments.”
The original production of “The Shining” had a NASA engineer working on the technical aspects of the production, something the FMCT definitely does not have. But they have access to the original production in other ways, making it much easier to be flexible with the interpretation and staging of the piece.
Unlike a Shakespearean play, the contemporary nature of “The Shining” makes it very easy to shoot off a message or pick up the phone to ask questions to the original playwrights.
“It’s a tricky process when you’re working with a relatively new piece. We’ve had conversations with playwrights, and had to ask ourselves questions like ‘With our space, can we do this?’ There’s been a lot of collaboration but it’s been a good deal of fun,” said Carol. “The first time it was staged they had a different space and different ideas. Because we have contact with the playwrights, it allows us to be a little bit flexible with the piece. We’ve asked ourselves, ‘How can we best tell the story within our means at the FMCT?’”
Like the audience, the actors have been asked to interpret the piece and the space to bring horror without the entire tech. NDSU alumnus Taylor Fay, Taylor Schatz and Adam Montgomery are included in the cast.
The piece has also been added to from its variety of directors, including Kody C. Jones, Katie Pipinich and Amy Tichy.
“More than anything this project has just been collaborative. There have been three directors who have provided a lot of creative input,” Carol said. “That has been a unique dynamic to this production. More creativity has been able to be imbedded in the show.”
“The Shining” definitely is a contrast to their season opener, “Peter and the Starcatcher.” Carol said the FMCT wants to provide for their audience in a different way, and give them a variety of shows to see.
Just in time for Halloween, “The Shining” opens at the FMCT at 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 27. It will also be shown at 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 28 & 29 and 2 p.m. on Oct. 30.
WHEN: Oct. 27-29, 7:30 p.m., Oct. 30, 2 p.m.
WHERE: The Stage at Island Park
PRICE: $18 adults, $12 students
MORE INFO: Online or call (701) 235-6778