BY JONATHAN ABARBANEL
Still-new Polarity Ensemble Theatre has unveiled its second production, an adaptation of Antigone (opened Feb. 17 at Breadline), and its first book under the banner of Polarity Ensemble Theatre Books (PET Books). The volume contains two adaptations of classic plays by Polarity artistic director Richard Engling under the self-explanatory title, Antigone and Macbeth: Adaptations for a War-Torn Time. Engling’s take on The Scottish Tragedy was Polarity’s debut production last April, under the title Absolute Macbeth. Company member Irv Gorman, a writer himself, is the publisher for PET Books.
Gorman explains that right from the start Polarity intended to publish as well as to present; a possibility made economically feasible via the cost-effective miracles of computer publishing. Linking online with a Tennessee firm, Lightning Source, PET Books was able to put out a 194-page soft cover volume for under $4.00 a copy for a very small initial press run of just 70 copies. The process was fast, too, Gorman relates. Once Polarity uploaded text to Tennessee, Lightning Source had a proof to them in four days and a box of bound books just three days after he and Engling approved the proof. PET Books is selling the volumes for $12 (including shipping) via its Web site or $10 in person at a Polarity performance.
“For a few hundred dollars we’ve been able to put out this book, and have the opportunity to learn the process of publishing,” Gorman says. “The book is documentation of our production (of Antigone) and a marketing tool for our theatre company.” Gorman adds that future PET Books might include both original work and additional adaptations.