Book-It Repertory Theatre revives “What We Talk About When We Talk About Love,” four tales by Raymond Carver about the strains of marriage.

Share story

In 1999, Book-It Repertory Theatre made an unlikely transfer from page to stage.

The company took several short stories by the late Yakima-bred and former Port Angeles resident Raymond Carver and turned these understated, unadorned yet complex glimpses of ordinary people soldiering through hard lives into compelling drama.

The well-received “What We Talk About When We Talk About Love” (titled after an acclaimed 1981 collection of Carver stories), was revived by Book-It in 2007. Now it’s coming back for a third run, with a new four-member cast under the direction of adaptor-director Jane Jones.

According to the Book-It, this will be a “refreshed” interpretation of the same four tales: the title story, “The Student’s Wife,” “Cathedral” and “Intimacy.” They each explore, with subtle power and insight, the bonds and strains of wedlock.

Several prominent films have also been based on stories by Carver, who struggled with alcoholism and died of lung cancer in 1988 at age 50. (He was buried in Port Angeles.)

Robert Altman’s “Short Cuts” was based on numerous stories and a poem of Carver’s. “Jindabyne” transplanted his chilling tale of moral culpability (“So Much Water So Close to Home”) from America to Australia. And “Birdman,” which won the 2015 Academy Award for best picture, also draws on “What We Talk About When We Talk About Love.”

The Book-It encore production runs through Oct. 18 at Center Theatre, Seattle Center; $25-$40 (206-216-0833 or book-it.org).