No one is surprised when authors mine their personal experiences. If they’re lucky enough to strike gold, other miners may be brought on to bring the stories to the silver screen. Here’s where things get tricky (if lucrative). No one wants to see his or her important life details getting royally botched, especially when the results are blown up 70 feet across.
Cartoonist Alison Bechdel’s path to letting others take the reins as her story is immortalized in front of a live audience is not the usual model. The family history she shared in the Pulitzer Prize-winning Fun Home: A Family Tragicomic has been turned into a Broadway musical.
Now that would be a nail biter, especially if the non-fictional source material includes a graphically awkward first sexual encounter and your closeted father’s suicide.
In the animated comic above, Bechdel recounts the surreal experience of seeing her most personal experiences musicalized during Fun Home‘s recent Off-Broadway run at the Public Theater.
In the wrong hands, it could have been an excruciating evening, but Fun Home, the musical, has had excellent pedigree from the get go.
It’s also worth noting that this show passes the infamous Bechdel Test (below) both onstage and off, with a book and lyrics by Lisa Kron and music by Jeanine Tesori.
Previews begin next month in New York City.
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Ayun Halliday is an author, homeschooler, and Chief Primatologist of the East Village Inky zine. Follow her @AyunHalliday
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