A Wind in the Door at The Kennedy Center

A Wind in the Door at The Kennedy Center

A Wind in the Door heroine Meg Murry embarks on an adventure when she learns of a powerful connection between her little brother and the fate of the universe. On our journey to Washington, DC for the premiere of the new stage adaptation of A Wind in the Door, it was clear that some powerful connections had sent us on our adventure, too. All of us at Stage Partners have a strong bond with the work of Madeleine L’Engle: sprawling and intimate, poignant and humorous, her writing is beloved and a new adaptation of her work always gets us excited. You can only imagine our delight when we found out this adaptation would connect dynamic playwright Jacqueline Goldfinger with a development process and premiere at the Kennedy Center. As the first in-person performance at the venue since the pandemic began, there was a new awareness of the special connection live theater can offer, even as the Kennedy Center’s online stream offered another avenue for the play to connect with audiences.


We were fortunate enough to spend time with playwright Jacqueline Goldfinger and Madeleine L’Engle’s granddaughter, Charlotte Jones Voiklis at the Kennedy Center. Here is some of our chat...

Vaughn Ryan Midder, Alicia Grace, David Landstrom, Lynette Rathnam, and Tyasia Velines in A Wind in the Door, The Kennedy Center (2021). (Puppet by Matthew McGee). Photo by Teresa Wood

MARIA MCCONVILLE: At what point in your life were you introduced to the work of Madeleine L'Engle? What sort of impact did her writing make on you?

JACQUELINE GOLDFINGER: I always loved adventure stories. When I was in Fifth Grade (age 10), a teacher lent me her copy of A Wrinkle in Time. I was immediately drawn into the story and fell in love with the characters - I was totally a Meg. I read the entire book in one night; even after my parents put me to bed, I snuck into the bathroom to turn on the light and read where they couldn't see me. I probably read the book every night for a week until my teacher asked for it back. I then went on to read both the Time Quintet and all of her other books. (I'm also a Polly, but that was in my teens.)

They have had an enormous impact on my life. I loved adventure stories but I was also interested in stories that asked big questions and shared new-to-me points of view. At that age, most books tend to be either action-packed or thought-provoking. L’Engle’s books are both. When I began writing plays, I asked myself, how can I do that? How can I entertain and engage while also introducing big ideas into my work?