Creating Kurt Vonnegut


Kurt Vonnegut

Having earlier developed one actor performance pieces using the words of authors William Saroyan and Mark Twain, actor/director/playwright Todd Wronski wished to mark the centenary of Kurt Vonnegut’s birth with a performance piece capturing the distinctive wit and creativity of this remarkable writer.  Working with Kurt Vonnegut’s literary estate, Wronski received permission to access a huge amount of the author’s written and spoken words.  Researching over a three year period, Wronski assembled hundreds of pieces of Vonnegut’s commentary and humor, some pieces as brief as a clever phrase and some full sentences or paragraphs.  Wronski then edited and combined these selections into a biographical performance using the framing device of Vonnegut’s famous tongue-in-cheek lecture regarding the structure of stories.  While an occasional change of tense or pronoun may have been made in some cases to aid clarity and narrative flow, what emerged from the process was a performance piece which could accurately appropriate the old Ivory Snow phrase of “ninety nine and forty four one hundreths percent pure” Vonnegut.

Todd Wronski during rehearsal for Kurt Vonnegut: My Lives’ Stories