BANGOR – This holiday season, Some Theater Company is getting a bit of Grimm.
“The Brothers Grimm Spectaculathon: 209 Fairy Tales in 90 Minutes” is a comedic version of the stories popularized by the legendary German brothers. The play is written by Don Zoids and directed by Elaine Bard. It will take place from December 9 to 12 in the STC space of the Bangor shopping center.
The Grimm’s are responsible for the fairy tales from your childhood, yes, but they’ve also kept some tales that are… less well known. “The girl without hands”, for example. If you are not lucky enough to have been educated in THIS particular field (what were your parents thinking?), STC is here to help. “The Brothers Grimm Spectaculathon” will guide audiences through Grimm’s enormous canon, embracing the dark humor – and at times utter absurdity – of fairy tales hardened in our culture.
We spoke with Elaine Bard, artistic director of production at STC and director of the “Spectaculathon”. Bard was generous enough to share some behind-the-scenes secrets of this unusual spectacle.
What prompted you to choose “The Brothers Grimm Spectaculathon” for a holiday show?
Growing up in the UK, our annual tradition was to attend the local pantomime every December with the family. Pantomimes are always fairy tales like Cinderella, Jack and the Beanstalk, Puss in Boots, etc., so when I stumbled upon this script it really brought me back to this beloved family tradition. I wanted to share this joy and happiness with our STC audience.
In previous years we have had great success with our usual holiday show, “Every Christmas Story Ever Told and then Some”. This year we felt we had to change a bit, but still in the comedy genre. I stumbled across this show and realized it was in a similar vein, and while it’s not a traditional US vacation fare, it’s absolutely hilarious. Fairy tales in themselves are magical, and that is the reason for the holiday season: magic. Plus, what we all need right now is to laugh and forget about things for a while. This show ticked all the boxes and seemed perfectly suited to us.
What were the challenges of creating this show?
We had a very short rehearsal period, which is always a challenge for actors when you ask them to learn a lot of lines in a short period of time. They all play multiple roles, so they had the challenge of making each one unique. There are also a lot of in and out as well as quick changes to this show.
Every actor is amazing. Their energy and love for what they do is contagious.
What makes “The Brothers Grimm Spectaculathon” different from other shows that STC audiences have seen in the past?
We’re known for our forward-thinking work, and while this is more family-friendly than we usually do, it still fits in with who we are. Some of the basic fairy tales – like “Little Red Riding Hood,” for example – have a darker theme as it’s written, so it’s always about who we are as a company; however, everything about this show is presented with a comedic touch.
We’re also known for the immersive experience of our shows, and that won’t disappoint in this area either. We’re a black box style theater, so our audience feels connected to the show they’re watching, just like any STC production.
209 that’s a LOT of fairy tales! Are there many stories in this collection that the public will not know?
There absolutely is! Without revealing anything, there are some stories you have probably never heard of among the fairy tales we all know and love. The show is smartly written, fast-paced, and presents these classic tales in a very different way.
There is something for all ages in this show, although you might not know every specific tale. It’s 90 minutes to create memories and enjoy special theatrical fun this holiday season with family and friends.
(“The Grimm Brothers Spectaculathon” will take place from December 9 to 12. Tickets are on sale now on www.stcmaine.org/tickets.)