Wechsler and Heidelberger worked with young writers at Just
Buffalo's Writing Center.
Playwright Neil Wechsler and composer Nathan Heidelberger discussed their ongoing collaboration, The Faust Project, an adaptation of both parts of Goethe's Faust. The talk focused on the adaptation process, particularly the unique challenges that come with trying to condense Goethe's sweeping original—about seventeen hours' worth of theater—down to an eighty-minute presentation for just four actors with musical accompaniment.
Students read a scene to experience the interaction between actors and director in developing a performance. Discussion continued to explore the production process and how limitations due to venue or budget impact artistic choices. Finally, students tried their hands at shortening a scene and discussed what motivation their choices. It was a wonderful opportunity for young writers to get a glimpse of what is involved in taking work from the page to the stage.