The play Brighton Beach Memoirs is semi-autobiographical. Despite this, I think the intentions of the playwright are to not only convey his own story, but to tell the story of a family struggling through difficult times and the importance of supporting one another. I do not want to change the focus much from what I believe to be the author’s intentions, meaning that I wish to focus on the importance of a family standing by one another and providing support through tough times. I want to show an image of the family as a unit, to convey how important it is for a family to try to be there when others need them, not to let arguments and struggle divide them. I want to say something that will help bring people together. I plan on keeping the story relatively unchanged, focusing on Eugene and his experience of these later years of the Great Depression. I think the audience who would benefit the most from viewing this play would be people in their older teens – they’d be able to relate to Eugene, but also understand the importance and significance of the themes of the play, such as I have previously mentioned. Since the original is set during the Great Depression, I wish to keep the struggle similar between me version and the original, to maintain the relevance of the dialogue relating to the financial situation. Thus, I thought maybe staging it in Weimar Germany, during the hyperinflation, not the Great Depression. This not only maintains the relevance of the financial crisis, but also has the impending rise of the Nazi party – a problem that pertains directly to the family, being Jewish. Although the Nazi party did not exist quite yet, some basics of its ideology did.
I want the audience to be able to empathize with Eugene and be able to understand his family’s struggle. From this, I want the audience to understand how important the family is and try to make an effort in their own life to realize this importance. I want them to feel empathy and understanding, to be able to connect with the characters in the play, to be involved. I want them to reflect on their own lives and how they treat their own family, thinking about the effects of what they say and do. I want the audience to leave feeling like they should do something, to try to get along with their family, to actually take action and not just think. The main thing I want the audience to remember is how a family should stick together and stand up for one another.