Whenever I adapt something, people always ask me what it was that I loved about the original that made me adapt it and, 9 times out of 10, I don’t adapt something because I love it but rather because I absolutely hate it and want to fix it.
But this was not the case with Goosed!.
When I first read The Goose, the fairy tale that Goosed! is adapted from, I absolutely loved it! I loved its complete randomness, its completely disgusting set-up, and the weird sort of heart that lay underneath it all. And it was one of the few tales I just took one read of and knew instantly I wanted to adapt for the stage.
Since then, Goosed! has become one of most popular plays from The Tale of Tales collection and it’s not hard to see why. It’s got plenty of slapstick comic action with a majority female cast and an adjustable ensemble. And, most of all, it’s funny and sweet and also kind of disgusting if you really think about it (which is why you shouldn’t think about it).
Because nobody’s going anywhere right now, it’s time for another Virtual Talkback of trivia and the kind of behind the scenes dirt that usually comes up at a post-show Q & A. As with any of these, I’ll try to cover everything that usually comes up at one of these talkbacks but, if you think of additional questions, please feel free to post them in the comments to keep the discussion going.
Let’s get things started with the thing everything everyone always asks first…
The very confusing character names come from Basile.
A question I get all the time is, “Why did you make the character names so confusing?”
And the answer to that is: I didn’t. Lilla, Lolla, Pasca, Vasta and Perna are all names that come directly from the original fairy tale and so I kept them intact in my version.
The only names that were not in the original story were characters that were unnamed in the original story: the prince and his men. And, in those cases, I named them using names from elsewhere in the collection.
What did you change from the original fairy tale?
This is honestly the play I changed the least from the original. The biggest change was that Perna, Pasca and Vasta were just cousins in the original but I made them mother and daughters because I felt like that gave the actors more to play with. The rest is pretty much exactly as it happens in the original.
My favorite line in the play came from my husband.
When I was first reading my way through The Tale of Tales plays, whenever I hit one that was particularly weird or terrible I would recap them for him. When I recapped The Goosed, he just shook his head and deadpanned, “That’s what you get for wiping your ass with an undead goose.”
That line was in every draft of the play up until the very end when I had to change ass to butt so it could be performed in school markets. (Boo!)
What drew you to this weird play about poop?
I was working on Goosed! at the same time as I was doing rewrites for The Green Bird, a play which also centers around a talking bird and very gross bit with poop and I was starting to feel like this was just my brand now, fairy tale plays about talking birds and poops.
Poop plays. This will be my legacy.
I honestly hate gross out comedies in movies so I can’t tell you why I was so drawn to this story but the muse wants what it wants, basically. I just knew as soon as I read it that it was just too weird and glorious to not adapt and I had to do it.
What you should really worry about is the day I figure out how to adapt my true favorite fairy tale, “The Cockroach, the Mouse, and the Cricket.” If you think Goosed! is gross, you ain’t seen nothing yet!