Discuss potential rewrites for the play Trifles.

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There are a few different ways to tackle a rewrite for the play Trifles. One common rewrite tactic would be to modernize the play. The play was first performed in 1916, and while the year is not specified in the text, we can tell by context clues the action happens sometime around then. We could rewrite the play to have it take place after the year 2000. In this approach, you would have to adapt different aspects of the play. Think about what would best serve the message of the play. Certain props would need to modernized—but remember, the items that the women focus on are dismissed by the men as "trifles," and so you'd have to think what might men dismiss today that women view as important? For instance, the women might find clues in Minnie's social media posts. Perhaps the men reject her selfies as vain, but the women see that her weight has changed, and she seems sicklier since her marriage. Maybe there are clues in her captions, such as song lyrics that reveal her mental state. You could also pick any time period to reset the play in, if you find another decade more interesting or think it would serve the play more.

We can also approach a rewrite by focusing on the language. Glaspell's characters talk like Midwestern farm folk, using words like "ain't." If the play were set somewhere else, they would have a different dialect. Even if you don't change the time period, there are many ways you can change the setting. You can rewrite it to take place in a different country or in a place with different cultural norms.

A more challenging rewrite of this play that explores gender roles would be to swap the genders of the characters. What would the play look like if the investigation were of a man who murdered his wife, instead of the opposite? What if it was a homosexual couple, such as a man murdering his husband or a woman murdering her wife?

It might be helpful to make a list of the dramatic elements in the play, so you could directly translate what they mean to you in your rewrite. List out the characters, then decide how you will modernize them or change them. List out all the props, so you remember to change those—especially since some props are important symbols, such as the bird cage. List out all the aspects of setting, including time period and location.

Depending on how you work creatively, there are at least two ways to write this. Once you get an idea and have your list for reference, you can simply start to freewrite. Tell the story. Another option is to look at the play script and rewrite it line by line, therefore directly adjusting the text.

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