Charles Dickens

Little Dorrit Rewritten by Wolfgang Wachalovsky

Domenique Lozano and I have been working on an adaptation of Dickens' Little Dorrit for about a year and a half and have finally gotten back into the room doing some major rewrites! We have been playing with the idea of completely modernizing the story but finally settling on a hybrid. The primary modern day aspect that we are looking to include is the contemporary debtor's prison which is punishing poor people for being poor (the leap from Dickens to this is so small). This is a phenomena that has been cropping up again in the last couple of years - especially in the South - and has even caught the attention of international organizations like Human Rights Watch. As prisons get privatized so has probation and as terms like "offender funded probation" and "pay-to-stay prisons" get thrown about, we are melding this privatized debtor's hell into Little Dorrit.

Initially we were interested in Little Dorrit because it is a Dickens book that has a female lead in it and we enjoyed how the story unfolded. Now, in addition, the striking occurrence of debtor's prisons in our country in our lifetime foregrounded the importance of that aspect of Dickens' story, so we are making it a central part of our project. 

As we get new drafts and new opportunities to workshop the play, you will have the opportunity to see this adaptation!