THE CLASSIC STORY ON STAGE
Eleanor Bergstein is a novelist, screenwriter, producer and director. Her stories have been published in national magazines, ranging from Transatlantic Review to Redbook and Cosmopolitan. Her first novel, Advancing Paul Newman, about women and politics in the 1960’s, was published by the Viking Press, and her first movie script was It’s My Turn, starring Jill Clayburgh and Michael Douglas. Her second novel, Ex-Lover, about sexual obsession, was published by Random House. She has worked on a variety of film projects, including the final script revision of Sister Act. She then wrote and directed Let It Be Me, which starred Campbell Scott, Jennifer Beals, Leslie Caron and Patrick Stewart.
Her most famous project was one of the most successful independent films of all time – Dirty Dancing. The unique continuing response to the story all around the world with its multiple viewings of the film, persuaded her that what audiences really wanted was a chance to be more physically involved in the story as it happened. This would of course mean that its ultimate form should be theatrical. This led her to reimagine Dirty Dancing as a stage event, one that combined dance and story and music in a new way. It was also her chance to write additional scenes not in the movie, which expand the characters, as well as add songs she had wanted for the movie and been unable to obtain.
Ms. Bergstein, through her company, Magic Hour Productions, is finishing a memoir and preparing a TV series based on her first novel, Advancing Paul Newman, about young women in politics, and working on a new stage musical set in London in the late 1960's.