Aaron Carper, Tyler Ward and Meagan Kirby in the 2012 production in Oregon, directed by Peter Wickliffe.
Courtin' In Georgia was commissioned by the Los Angeles Library for their Live at the Libe Reading Series, and has also received a staged reading at The Pacific Resident Theatre.
It premiered in April 2012 at the Randall Theatre in Oregon as part of "Love Plays On."
So - why adapt a classic work, one that's already been performed to the delight of audiences for well over a hundred years?
In short, because the world that Anton Chekhov lived and wrote in has moved on. I wasn't interested in updating it, or in
setting the play in the modern world, I was interested in keeping the classic setting, but presenting it in a fashion that was more identifiable for today's audience. I bore in mind that Chekhov was himself one generation removed from slavery - his grandfather had actually bought the family's freedom, purchasing the freehold,
which was allowable for serfs. Chekhov's original play was written at a time when the rural landowners were dealing with the social upheaval from the Russian Emancipation; so I tranposed the story to the rural south, to Wheeler County, Georgia, some twenty years after the U.S. Emancipation Proclamation.
I kept the ebb and flow of characters' motivations, but I completely rewrote the language - not only in the idioms of the day, but with a modern pacing and tempo (stichomythia, if you want to get technical). The play could be a strong addition to any high school class discussing Chekhov, or modern
interpretations and adaptations of classic works - and I welcome any educators who would like to include it in their curricula. It's also great fun to perform.
It has also been adapted for radio - and is available for theatrical production, classroom or workshop use, and for radio broadcast.