A ‘70s Crime Classic Gets a Musical Redux

Playwright Suzan-Lori Parks discusses her new adaptation of The Harder They Come, a 1972 film starring Jimmy Cliff that features a legendary soundtrack.


Episode Notes

This week, host Isaac Butler talks to Suzan-Lori Parks, a Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright whose most recent project is a musical theater adaptation of the 1972 Jamaican crime film The Harder They Come. In the interview, Suzan-Lori shares her flexible approach to adaptation and, more specifically, how she was able to deepen the original story of The Harder They Come while honoring the original. She also talks about the unique challenges of adapting a movie into a stage musical.

After the interview, Isaac and co-host Karen Han talk about the ubiquity of adaptations and reboots and what it means to make a whole new piece of work out of old material.

In the exclusive Slate Plus segment, Isaac asks Suzan-Lori about her project 365 Days/365 Plays in which she wrote a play a day for an entire year. Isaac also asks about a unique playwriting convention that Suzan-Lori pioneered.

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Podcast production by Cameron Drews.


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