SummerWorks 2014: Unintentionally Depressing Children’s Tales

Unintentionally Depressing Childrens Tales

Unintentionally Depressing Children’s Tales

Juried Series

Definitely not for kids, but not as “depressing” as the title suggests, writer Erin Fleck and director Maya Rabinovitch’s whimsically staged telling of four fractured fairy tales with melancholic undertones blends stage reading and gorgeous puppetry beneath a cozy, elaborate blanket fort with the audience gathered around on the floor atop cushions as they await an adult storytime.

There’s a Gilliam-esque tale of a man who invented lightbulbs for a world where the sun has forsaken it for 400 years, a tale of a ghost that haunts an underwater ballroom, a cantankerous horse name Heathcliff, and a lonely man with a penchant for sending himself snail mail.

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Each of the stories carries with it a warmth and joy despite the “depressing” part of the title. If you’re an optimist, you can look at each story and hope that things are going to be okay. There’s a reassuring tone to the way the stories are read that still makes you want to believe that everything will turn out well in the future for these misfits.

And the puppetry (mostly involving elaborate cardboard and paper transparancies and old school overhead projectors) is worth the price of admission alone. So too is the staging. I have no idea how shows with this little turnaround time in the middle of a festival could actually create a blanket fort inside of a space that gets used five times a day for other shows. It’s a heck of an effort and a delight to watch.

Remaining performances at Lower Ossington Theatre Studio (100A, with limited chair seating available):

Monday August 11, 9:00pm
Wednesday August 13, 4:00pm
Thursday August 14, 10:00pm
Saturday August 16, 6:00pm
Sunday August 17, 7:00pm

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