The children’s classic “Hansel and Gretel, The Little Brother and The Little Sister” will be presented March 15-20 and April 16.
The production is staged by the North Carolina Theatre for Young People (NCTYP). As part of UNCG’s outreach efforts, the NCTYP production tours to rural and metropolitan schools and community venues. It has been on tour since Feb. 1, and will continue to tour after its run at UNCG, reaching 20 schools across the state, from Guilford to Gates counties, and also in Virginia and Washington, D.C. Rachel Briley, artistic director of NCTYP, directs this production of “Hansel and Gretel,” adapted by Max Bush.
Curtain times in Taylor Building Theatre will be at March 15-18 at 9:30 a.m. and noon; March 18 at 7:30 p.m.; March 19-20 at 2 p.m.; and in Brown Building Theatre on April 16 at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Tickets may be purchased at firstname.lastname@example.org.
“‘Hansel and Gretel’ is an adaptation of the Grimm brothers’classical tale that tells the story of the power of courage to overcome fear,” said Briley. “It is a rite of passage tale that encourages all of us – young and old alike – to move to the places that are most difficult in our lives and face our challenges with courage and hope.”
The playwright, Max Bush, came to campus for a residency to work with the cast and production team of ‘Hansel and Gretel.’ He is known nationally in theater circles and in 1995 he received the Charlotte Chorpenning Cup, the nation’s highest prize in the field of playwriting for young audiences. He was also the national winner of the American Alliance for Theatre and Education’s Distinguished Play award in 1990 and 2002.
Briley said that Grimms’ fairy tales are not told as often today as they were in the past, and she is excited that NCTYP is staging and touring the production.
“I believe they contain many insights about the journey of the human spirit and deserve a place in the contemporary repertoire,” said Briley. “Artistic directors need to produce these forgotten gems in our field. So many people today are producing adaptations of contemporary children’s literature because of title recognition and the desire to make money.
“It is deeply important to expose children and adults to tales that will live within them because of allegorical resonance that touches the subconscious in ways that we do not always consciously recognize. ‘Hansel and Gretel’ does just this.”
Major roles are played by Cameron Prevatte and Emily Flanagan as Hansel and Gretel, Phillip Wright and Christine Lo as Father and Mother, Phoebe Dillard as the Witch, and Kianna Scanlon as the White Bird. Scenic design by Brad Archer; costume design by Sam Toney; and lighting design by Kris Brooks. The production is stage managed by Ingrid Pierson and assistant directed by Jonathan Johnson.