Adapting “Bunnicula”


I love this book. It’s just plain fun. I read it first when I was a kid. Last October, I read it out loud to my girls and they loved it. (Hint: It’s a great book at read out loud.)

Since then it’s become a favorite of my younger daughter. Her favorite scene is when Harold Chester discover, lying on the kitchen floor, the work of a certain vegetable juice loving, pointy fanged bunny–a white zucchini!

The other day, my wife and my daughter were talking about the book, which means my daughter was telling and re-telling (and re-telling) my wife about her favorite parts of the book. Somehow this led to a discussion about how it would be fun to see it as a play. Which led to the idea of someone adapting the book for the stage. Which led to finding a writer to adapt the book.

Which led to me.

[deep breath] Oh boy.

Now, I’m not going to get into a philosophical discussion about the copyright of the book and the rights to adopt it. This isn’t about that. The idea behind this adaptation is something for the neighborhood kids to read and put on a half hour play in somebody’s basement. Nobody, least of all me, is trying to make any money off this. Just to be clear.

That said, my daughter now wants me to write this play. (I blame my wife for this one.)

Thing is, I’m giving it serious consideration. After all, why not? It’s not going anywhere, so it will be more of a writing exercise than something I’m doing for publication. It will be good practice in case I need to adapt a novel or story for real in the future.

The question in front of me now is, how do I go about this? Given the finite amount of time (not sure where the idea that it needed to be no longer than thirty minutes came from, but has apparently stuck), how do I take this story, with seven characters, ten different scenes, and a ton of really great first person point of view internal monologue, and translate it into a thirty minute at my daughter and her two other besties can turn into a “show”?

I’m open to approaches and suggestions here. Feel free to drop a comment at the bottom of this post. I’ll keep updating with progress as I work on it.

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