The experience of watching Beasts of the Southern Wild is like looking in on another universe through a keyhole. You watch the scenes between Hushpuppy and her father and wonder: how was a camera even present in this moment? Visually speaking, the film is pure poetry, shining a light on a unique corner of the world and presenting it in a way that’s entirely magical. But it’s the performances given by everyone in the cast, especially Quvenzhané Wallis and Dwight Henry, that truly capture the essence of what the film is really about: people having the courage to love and defend the people and place they call home. But before Beasts of the Southern Wild, there was Juicy and Delicious, a play by Lucy Alibar about a boy who feels like the whole world is collapsing as his father is dying. And it’s from that play that Alibar and director, Benh Zeitlin, adapted Beasts of the Southern Wild, carrying through the same themes of loss and strength, all set in a mythical world that’s as brutal as it is beautiful. We sat down with Alibar to see how her play transitioned from its original form, having a strong female hero, and seeing through tough exteriors.
Lucy Alibar on Adapting Her Stage Play into Beasts of the Southern Wild