Marlboro College

NewsPress Release - 4/5/2000

MARLBORO, VT -- The Ship of Fools Ensemble presents an original adaptation of George Orwell's "1984" on April 20, 21, and 22, at 8 p.m. in Marlboro College's Whittemore Theater.

Adapted and directed by Marlboro College senior Gretchen Jaeger as her final Plan of Concentration project, "1984" is the result of collaborative work by the cast as well as the director. The Ship of Fools Ensemble features Jaeger and fellow Marlboro College students Nahum Brown, Libby Garofalo, Tim Collins, Aimee Gallant, Julia Slone, and Sarah Lornitzo, as well as Marlboro College faculty member Jerry Levy.

When dealing with the famous image of Big Brother, "the foundation of the play's creation had to be antithetical to its subject," Jaeger says. "Otherwise, the hypocrisy of our process would contradict the method -- process over product. I think we've done that."

Jaeger, whose Plan is focused on theater and sociology, began thinking about this project when she was living in New York. "There were street corners where fifty or sixty different closed-circuit cameras were documenting people at these intersections at any given time." That image began to merge with the image in "1984" of O'Brien watching over Winston, and Jaeger's adaptation began to take form.

The popularity of Orwell's novel also figured into the adaptation and production of the play. "I think seventy-five percent of the audience will have read '1984,' so our play has become less about suspension of plot, and more about the experience of tension and the beauty of moments," Jaeger says. "Orwell's work is beautiful and absurd; we wanted to bring out both sides."

In June, Jaeger's adaptation of "1984" will also be presented at the Montreal International Fringe Festival.

The Whittemore Theatre is fully accessible. For more information, please call (802) 257-4333, visit the College's event calendar on-line at or contact Ship of Fools directly at

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