ELKINS - Some not-so-familiar fairy tale characters and a dash of humor are what the audience can expect when Davis & Elkins College presents the student production “A Grimm Adventure” at 8 p.m. February 22-24 and at 2 p.m. February 25 in the Boiler House Theatre. The original production is written and directed by D&E senior Joshua Thompson.
Admission is free and donations will be accepted to help defray the cost of student attendance to a technical theatre conference.
“It’s a Gothic comedy that takes the original Brothers Grimm fairy tales and twists them,” Thompson said of the play he created for his senior capstone project.
The twists come in the form of the characters. In “A Grimm Adventure,” Cinderella, portrayed by Sarah Gustafson of Bridgeport, West Virginia, is the villain who enslaves her stepmother (Hope Roy of Parsons, West Virginia) and stepsister Belle (Abby Sowards of Huntington, West Virginia). Not the evil one in this production, the stepsister escapes and is transformed into various fairy tale characters in a quest to save her mother and herself.
Thompson, a native of Parsons, West Virginia, said he came up with the idea for the play after reading “The Original Folk and Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm” and “The Grimm Diaries,” a work that combines the personas of some of the best known fairy tale characters.
Thompson promises the audience also will have a few laughs along the way and leave thinking about family values.
“It’s chocked full of jokes, and some of the other characters Belle comes across aren’t so scary,” he said. “It also sends the message of what constitutes a family and what you’re willing to go through to fight for it.”
Additional cast members are Clay Freil of Hillsboro, West Virginia; Nathaniel Fornash of Huntington, West Virginia; Maddie Lessner of Waldorf, Maryland; Ashley Haywood of Cabin Creek, West Virginia; Shannen McClure of Marlinton, West Virginia; Max Ginsberg of Fairfax, Virginia; and Destiny Owens of Milton, Florida.
The crew is made up of Megan Tuley, stage manager, of Vienna, West Virginia; Shelby Pemberton, lights, of Monongahela, Pennsylvania; Megan Walters, house manager, of Charmco, West Virginia; Katie Varchetto, costumes, of Elkins; Denise Folley, makeup and hair, of Charlottesville, Virginia; D&E Technical Director in the Division of Creative Arts Eric Armstrong, scenic design; and Blake Boswell, art design, of Belpre, Ohio. Thompson received administrative and directorial support from D&E Instructor of Theatre Ruth Humphrey, Assistant Professor of Theatre Bridget Esterhuizen and Artist-in-Residence Jim Warren.
Related to the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Davis & Elkins College is located in Elkins, 2 hours east of Charleston, 3 hours south of Pittsburgh and 4 hours west of Washington, D.C. For more information, please visit the College website at www.dewv.edu or call 304-637-1243.