New twist on classic fairy tale on stage Saturday

By : 
GRETCHEN MENSINK LOVEJOY
SPRING VALLEY TRIBUNE

A classic fairy tale with a new twist will hit the stage for children during Christmas on Historic Broadway.

“The True Stories of the Three Big Bad Wolves,” presented from the wolves’ perspective, is this year’s Brave Community Theatre (BCT) children’s show to be performed at the Spring Valley Community Center Saturday, Dec. 8. Emma Hansen, who is just finishing high school, will be director, a role familiar to her.

Brave Community Theatre founder Debi Neville suggested this show when Hansen asked to direct this play, and after looking over the script, Hansen said she thought it would be a great one to try. 

“It’s a really fun show, and I’m really excited for people to see it,” said Hansen.  

The wolves turn the tables to share their points of view in this retelling of three familiar fairy tales. 

“They picket the storytellers until they get an opportunity to tell their side — that they are not so bad after all,” said Neville. “Adults and kids alike will appreciate the up-to-date stories, as the wolves have cell phones and are pretty hip.” 

The attendance the past few years at the free Christmas play has been great, noted Neville, but audience members, both adults and children, have asked for a longer play than the previous 15-minute performances. 

“So this year, we are doing a really cute and funny show that will be about 30 minutes, give or take a few.  The advantage is that we will not only provide longer entertainment, but a bigger cast gives kids the opportunity to get their feet wet in theatre, so to speak,” said Neville. 

In addition to Hansen directing the show, Julie Mlinar is doing the set, Neville is doing costumes, and Jeff Thauwald and Craig Cornell are doing lights and sound. 

Obviously, Santa’s got another gig at the time that the BCT players will be performing a wolf-themed show, so he won’t be making an appearance.  However, the cast of nine includes Josie Sanford, Jacie Berken, Brooklynn Carpenter, Linda Niemeyer, Stephen Hulbert, Dale Hulbert, Emma Howard, Brynn Huebner, Silas Hansen and Daizie Johnson. 

“BCT was very excited to have almost all participants be first-timers,” said Neville.

“Most of the cast is fairly young and rather new to acting, but they’re doing a tremendous job with this show, and I couldn’t be more thrilled with their progress,” said Hansen. “I’ve done a few other shows with a mostly younger cast, so this was a very familiar kind of group to work with, and I am really enjoying it.  We started rehearsals the second week of November, so we really are kind of crunched for time, but the cast is doing great and it’s all coming along nicely.  I think we’re going to have a great show come Dec. 8.”     

The Christmas play is performed free of charge to the public and is Brave Community Theatre’s way of saying “thank you” to the community and the patrons for their support, said Neville. The group hopes to foster interest and offer experience to the youth and adults in the audience and onstage. 

“We love being a part of Christmas on Historic Broadway and are so happy this continues year after year,” she said.

There will be two showings at the Spring Valley Community Center. The first performance will be at 3:00 p.m. and the second will be after the parade at 6:30 p.m. 

“It’s just a really funny, family-friendly show, and I’m really excited for people to see it.  The cast is so great at taking the humor in the script and bringing it to life.  They’re just a tremendous group and have been great to work with,” said Hansen. “I’m really excited for people to see the work they’ve put into this show.  I’m just really impressed with what they have been able to do in the short amount of time we’ve had.  I can’t wait for people to see it.”