'Dead Poets Society' Headed for Off-Broadway Stage

Dead Poets Society - H 2016

Tom Schulman has adapted his Oscar-winning screenplay for the 1989 Robin Williams drama about an English teacher who inspires his students with poetry.

Carpe diem.

John Doyle, the new artistic director of off-Broadway's Classic Stage Company, is seizing the day by lining up the world-premiere theatrical adaptation of Dead Poets Society. The nonmusical play was written by Tom Schulman, adapted from his Oscar-winning screenplay.

Released in 1989, Dead Poets Society was directed by Peter Weir and starred Robin Williams in what became one of his signature roles, as John Keating, an English teacher at a conservative all-boys prep school in the Northeast. Keating uses poetry to inspire the students to shrug off conformity and make their lives extraordinary, but his unorthodox methods attract the attention of the academy's strict headmaster.

The film's key cast also included Ethan Hawke, Robert Sean Leonard, Josh Charles and James Waterston in student roles.

No casting has been announced for the stage version, which Doyle will direct in October, kicking off CSC's 2016-17 season.

Also on the company's slate for next season is CSC regular David Ives' farce The Liar, adapted from the play by Pierre Corneille, to be directed in January by Michael Kahn; and in April 2017, a revival of the Stephen Sondheim-John Weidman musical, Pacific Overtures, to be staged by Doyle.

Doyle previously staged Sondheim's Passion at CSC and won a Tony for his direction of Sweeney Todd on Broadway. He is currently represented on Broadway by the well-received revival of The Color Purple, which stars Cynthia Erivo, Jennifer Hudson and Danielle Brooks.