In the production of The Stronger staring Therese Jean Kibby the screenplay writer, Steve Cleberg took the opportunity to interpret what Arthur Strindberg originally wrote. In watching the play, it is very obvious that there are some major differences from the original version. The most obvious deviation from the original is the fact that the play has scenes that were not ever depicted in Strindberg’s play. This includes the scene in which we actually see Mr. X and Miss Y together at the rehearsal and in Mrs. X’s memories. While these changes are big, another change was more significant. This change was that of Miss Y’s reactions and body language. These changes change the demeanor of Miss Y and make us view her differently than we may have in the written play.
One opportunity this version of the play gives us is the ability to see Miss Y with Mr. X and see her reactions while she is with him. In the first scene Miss Y looks at Mrs. X and her children with contempt (like she is described doing in the text when Mrs. X talks about her children). However, when Mrs. X leaves, we see her making very slow and deliberate movements obviously trying to get the attention of Mr. X on her way out. When she eyes him as she passes and he seemingly ignores her, she rolls her eyes, obviously not content with his reaction. In the way Miss Y and Mr. X are portrayed in this first scene, we already start to get the impression that Miss Y obviously wants Mr. X or that there is already something going on between them.
In the next scene, at the café, much of the dialogue stays very close to the dialogue from the written version of the play with the exception of the occasional use of word choice. However, Miss Y’s reactions seem to come across more intense. While many of the reactions she gives are in the text, how the actress portrays them often goes beyond what is written in the stage directions of Strindberg’s play. In the original version, Mrs. X has two dialogues before we see a reaction from Miss Y. However, in this version, Mrs. X’s dialogue is cut to about one quarter of the original and still we see a scornful look from Miss Y even before the mention her ex-fiancé. When Mrs. X does bring this up shortly after, Miss Y looks more shocked than scornful (as written in the play) and then looks down ignoring Mrs. X almost in disbelief that she brought up the subject. At this point, Miss Y comes across ruder than in the original play. While Mrs. X is trying to make casual conversation (even though it is slightly offensive and intrusive), Miss Y is almost completely ignoring her efforts.
While this play portrays...