Not all fairies are very nice. That’s a lesson you learn from reading the older editions of the Grimm Brothers’ stories. Fairies will toss your beloved out of a window and drown your ass. Parents will put themselves first. Beauty is a virtue. Disobedient children die. Good children die (but are sometimes resurrected).
If you distance yourself from these stories that are so popular in our culture you begin to question whether they’re moral tales at all, or simply stories about horrible things happening with a little faith or magic for flavor. As I wrote, I couldn’t stop from seeing that the old folk tales are unfortunately modern. As Hansel and Gretel’s parents conspire to abandon (and therefore kill) their children in the woods, Susan Smith rolled her car, with her two children locked inside, into a lake.
Many of the stories are straight-up horror, like FITCHER’S BIRD. Others are clearly Christian allegories. Really, the collection is too varied to make blanket statements about it, but it’s fair to say that we still enjoy the Brothers Grimm because they satisfy our inner child’s love of topsy-turviness and our grown-up – if tribal and severe – sense of justice.
It’s a singular joy to return to radio theatre for EPISODE 9 (and my 6th!) with the old Plan-B and KUER team. Where Disney wanted to enchant you with RAPUNZEL and LITTLE SNOW-WHITE, we want to haunt you, shock you a little and give you a dark giggle. With THE JUNIPER TREE, the most violent piece, we’re trying an experimental form that I know our cast and technicians will turn into a bitter feast for the ear.
RADIO HOUR EPISODE 9: GRIMM receives its world premiere October 15, 2014 at 7pm sharp in the Jeanne Wagner Theatre at the Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center. Also broadcast live on KUER’s RadioWest with you as the live studio audience! Featuring Bill Allred, Colleen Baum, Jay Perry, Teresa Sanderson, Jason Tatom. Original music by Dave Evanoff. Directed by Cheryl Ann Cluff. Click here for more information and tickets, as well as details on subscribing to Plan-B’s 2014/15 session!