Grimm's Fairy Tales come to life at Sumter Little Theatre

BY IVY MOORE
Special to The Sumter Item
Posted 3/31/19

The Brothers Grimm wrote more than 200 fairy tales, many of them familiar to anyone who is or has ever been a child. Many know them from Disney films; that is, in their romanticized forms. Sumter Little Theatre's "Brothers Grimm Spectaculathon," …

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Grimm's Fairy Tales come to life at Sumter Little Theatre

Posted

The Brothers Grimm wrote more than 200 fairy tales, many of them familiar to anyone who is or has ever been a child. Many know them from Disney films; that is, in their romanticized forms. Sumter Little Theatre's "Brothers Grimm Spectaculathon," opening Thursday, has the familiar stories, such as Rumpelstiltskin, Snow White, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Little Red Riding Hood and Rapunzel, and it also incorporates lesser known tales - Lean Lisa and The Devil's Grandmother, for example.

Some of them are a little dark, but all have a comic twist. "It gives a different perspective on the stories that are part of our culture," said director Kendall Jones.

Jones has brought together more than 20 actors from SLT's Youth Theatre School to present playwright Don Zolidis' "retelling of almost all of the tales in an amalgam, trying to connect them into one big story."

Jones said the ensemble show features "a bevy of actors and two narrators, Julian Wright and Lauren Carneal, who are on stage the whole time.

"The young actors, from 9 to 17 years old, really do like the show. It's very funny, fast-paced, and there's no part where it's slow. It's interesting having the older and younger kids together. I've seen a lot of growth throughout the rehearsal process."

All of the actors, no matter their age, agreed the play is entertaining and fun for the cast.

Ravyn Ardis, a ninth-grader who plays both Rapunzel and Cinderella, said the show is "absolutely hilarious. There are so many talented actors in it. If you like any of the Disney movies whatsoever, you would love this."

She said that, in addition to the fairy tale characters, "there's one called 'Walt', a prince who turns into a frog."

"Spectaculathon" is the third SLT show for 9-year-old Mia Turner, who said playing two different characters has not been difficult.

"I learned my lines overnight," she said, "and I get to wear nice costumes. It's been pretty good working with the middle and high school actors."

She recommended the family friendly show to any age audience: "If you're a person that enjoys fairy tales, it'll be good for you to come see. It's really funny and kind of scary at the same time."

A creative set by Randy Adams and the colorful and imaginative costumes by Sylvia Pickell set the ambience for the tales, and an experienced crew is handling the technical aspects of the show. Stage manager is Jennica Greco, technical director is Mike Leone, Melanie Leone is light board operator, sound is by Michael Bacon, and the backstage crew comprises Michelle Ross, Bianca Rowlett and Nancy Reading.

Cast members, who play more than one part each, are Caroline Getz: King, Ruby Wills, Sierra Wills, Kylie Timmons, Bryce Dodson, Hanna Gibbons, Shaniya McDonald, Emmy Long, Nate Martin, Cali Blodzinski, Walker Craven, Paige Sanders, Abby Hodge, Laila Williams, Carsen Fannon, Dayshaun Powe and Emma Ketchum.

Sumter Little Theatre, 14 Mood Ave., presents "The Brothers Grimm Spectaculathon" Thursday through Sunday, April 7. Thursday and Friday shows begin at 7:30 p.m., Saturday at 2 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m. Tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for students, seniors and military. For reservations, call (803) 775-2150 or visit the SLT website, www.sumterlittletheatre.com.