Sunday, May 29, 2011 | By: Brianna

Just a Fairy Tale

Q:  What ever happened to your theatrics from high school?  You were an actor?  Whaaaa?

A:  Yes.  I was an actor in high school.  I did theatre all four years at school, taking part in a number of "straight plays" as well as musicals.  I really grew as a theatre person throughout those four years, going from playing little parts my freshman year to playing character bits in junior and senior year.  By then I probably played a grand total of 3 old ladies, as it kind of became my specialty.  I wouldn't say that I was particularly good, just that I had a ton of fun and I really enjoyed myself.  In addition to my acting pursuits, I also wrote a couple one act plays and directed a couple scenes and plays.  I stage managed a couple shows and things too, but I feel like that doesn't really count because I wasn't too good at it.

So after high school I went on to college and became an English major, and that's where my theatrics went.  To the wayside.  For all intents and purposes.  Sure, I still wanted to act, but I was on the outside of the theatre department, so I was left out of the loop when it came to figuring out when auditions were, what shows were, etc., etc.

Over the summer it was a different story.  Summer of 2008, I began The Grimm Players as part of my Girl Scout Gold Award.  I wrote adaptations of three fairy tales (Rapunzel, Rumpelstiltskin, and The Fisherman and His Wife) for the stage, modernized them a bit, and added in some environmental bent to a couple of them, and recruited four actors to perform them at my local library.  Ever since then, The Grimm Players have been invited back to perform over the summer, and every year we've come up with new fairy tales to perform, so by now I've got a good nine fairy tales that we've adapted for the stage.  And I say "we" because by the second summer I began sharing writing duties with members of the group because they had shown an interest in writing.

This summer, I'm a little pressed for time, and so I'm writing my adaptation right now.  My brother craned over my shoulder and asked if it was for school.

"No, it's for the fairy tale thing that I do over the summer," I answered, scribbling a bit more on my adaptation of Stone Soup.

"Oh.  When are you just going to make that into a business and start charging?"

So that got me thinking.  We've been doing this for four years, well, this'll be our fourth summer, and our library liaison has said more than once that he wished he could pay us.  But what if there were people who could?  People or organizations, that is.  What if The Grimm Players became a theatre company?  I could use it to support my horrible writing "habit" as I write the next great American novel, because theatre is such a lucrative industry.  I've taken an Entrepreneurship class, so I know the basics of writing a business plan, so what else is there?  Obviously a ton of money would have to go into it, and I'd have to find enough dedicated people willing to take zero paycheck for goodness only knows how long, but how cool would that be?!  We could be a travelling troupe and perform in tiny little venues for little children.  Maybe we could even go to schools and encourage kids to get into theatre.  Of course, that would mean more writing, and possibly branching out from the Brothers Grimm umbrella.  Or actually spending money on costuming or props.  But in the grand scheme of things, wouldn't it be more interesting to watch a minimalist version of stories that are so well known?  And then there's always the fact that we could bring more obscure stories to light.  We could do five stories in a set, expanding the show to a whole hour...

Definitely something to consider.


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