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Nance Crawford

Books - Plays - Words & Music


A Letter to Family and Friends

Posted on April 4, 2013 at 7:40 AM

Wednesday, April 03, 2013


Dear Family and Friends,


In 1967, during a conversation in the living room, Mom turned around, pulled a book from the shelf nook behind the piano, opened it and held it out to me, saying, “This would make a wonderful play.”  She was gone four years later.


Contacting the rights holder, I found out the novel had been constantly under option since its original publication in 1951. At the first opportunity, I made an offer that was soundly rejected. Copyright on the novel would end in 2002, so the finished script went into the file.


Twenty years later the subject came up with a group of actor friends who expressed interest, so we got together in my living room to read the script. When I finally convinced them that any production was out of the question because of the situation with the rights, I was adamantly encouraged to pull out my own material and use it to build an entirely original play.


Did that. The new piece, also titled KING’S GAMES, got me invited to joint a playwrights group. When it became apparent that, due to circumstance, it couldn’t be produced by the company, and there was no interest elsewhere in the material, it,  too, went into the file.


Since then, copyright law has changed, both in the U.S. and the U.K.  The rights to the novel will now enter the Public Domain in 2022. Recently, after a discouraging exchange of correspondence with the representatives of the rights holder quoting a hefty one year option price and unusual, unreasonable demands regarding up-front presentation of a budget and film credits, I concluded it was best to let it go.


All things considered, I decided to match my original work in both plays, put the adaptation back into the file for my heirs, and make a concerted attempt to market my own play because the subject is suddenly very timely. I’ve never heard the final version of my adaptation and want and need to hear it read by professional actors in a big roomful of people before it goes to bed.


The reading will be held at 3 p.m., Saturday, April 13, at Prince of Peace Episcopal Church, 5700 Rudnick Avenue, Woodland Hills, CA 91367.


We’ll do a reading of the second play in the very near future under more modest circumstances, but I cannot stress enough how important it is to me that you be there on Saturday the 13th.


The original material is Josephine Tey’s THE DAUGHTER OF TIME. In 1990, it was selected by the British-based Crime Writer’s Association as the greatest mystery of all time. The subjects of the mystery are the character and actions of Richard III of England (yes, the guy in the car park).


Please, please join us for this singular afternoon.


With warmest, hopeful regards,


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Reply Nance Crawford
1:02 PM on April 6, 2013 
Thanks! I'm very much looking forward to finding out if it works better than I think it does - never know until the words come out of the real mouths of special, talented people - and, so far, we're ahead of the game. The biggest problem is finding people age-appropriate. Don't need a teenager's declarations coming out of a 50-year-old!

Glad you like the Wayne story. There's more but I'm still trying to figure out if I should just have an entirely separate blog that can be linked to from here.
Reply Pookie
9:27 PM on April 4, 2013 
I think this will be fantastic and how right you are with the timing!! xoxo (Loved the John Wayne blog, btw.)