Two Tony Award Winners Hope to Bring “The Shining” to Broadway

A new stage adaptation of Stephen King’s celebrated novel is in the works

The Shining Stanley Kubrick 1980 Film
Stanley Kubrick’s 1980 film adaptation is a classic. How will the stage play fare?
Warner Brothers/Getty
By Alex Lauer / August 22, 2019 1:38 pm

Stephen King’s disdain for Stanley Kubrick’s film version of The Shining is no secret. Despite modern audiences considering the horror movie a classic, the author has called it “a big, beautiful Cadillac with no engine inside it.” Fortunately for King, there’s another adaptation in the works — a stage adaptation.

According to Forbes, two Tony Award winners are turning The Shining into a play with the hopes of eventually bringing it to Broadway. The theater artists in question are celebrated director Ivo van Hove, who is reportedly overseeing the project, and playwright Simon Stephens, who is writing the script.

To answer your first question, no, there (most likely) won’t be any song-and-dance numbers. This is a straight play. And fans of the book and film, and Stephen King in general, can rest assured that if any theater artists can do right by The Shining, it’s these two. 

Stephens won a 2015 Tony Award for his adaptation of The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, so he has experience bringing novels to the stage. As for van Hove, he made a name for himself by bringing avant-garde productions to the mainstream, receiving Tony nominations for such iconic pieces as The Crucible, Network and A View From The Bridge, for which he won Best Director. Currently, he’s working on a radical new Broadway revival of West Side Story that’s the talk of the upcoming season. 

If the subject matter — Jack Torrance slowly slipping into madness while snowbound in a hotel with his wife and young son — seems like it’s perfectly primed for the theater, it’s no coincidence. As Forbes writes, “… biographer George Beahm confirmed that it was ‘originally conceived as a play’ divided into five acts like a Shakespearean tragedy.” Not only that, but there have already been multiple stage adaptations commissioned, including a straight play in 2014 put on for “a limited-engagement fundraiser” and an opera that premiered in Minnesota in 2016. But neither of those are as high-profile as this new endeavor. 

No dates are set for a premiere yet, but Forbes writes that it will likely play in London’s West End before transferring to Broadway.

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