Princeton’s McCarter Theatre presented readings yesterday of two new one-act plays by Joyce Carol Oates: Wild Nights, about a couple who purchase an android Emily Dickinson to liven up their lives; and Grandpa Clemens & Angelfish 1906, involving Mark Twain and a group of young schoolgirls. Both plays were adapted from recent stories published in the collection Wild Nights! Stories about the Last Days of Poe, Dickinson, Twain, James, and Hemingway. McCarter Theatre has been the host of a number of JCO dramas including The Perfectionist and an early version of The Passion of Henry David Thoreau.
JCO has adapted many of her stories for the theater in addition to a large body of work written originally for the stage. Notable adaptations include The Triumph of the Spider Monkey (novella), the opera Black Water (novella), Miss Golden Dreams (material from the Marilyn Monroe novel, Blonde), and The Tattooed Girl, which was written simultaneously as a novel and a play.