Miscellaneous Productions presents
An International and Indigenous Fairy Tale and Folklore Project
An authentic reading of the original fairy tales compiled in 1812 by the celebrated Brothers Grimm is grim indeed.
Though they later sanitized their own stories, and subsequent retellings were further prettified for nursery storytelling and Disneyfied for child-friendly movies, the original Germanic and other European folkloric tales they compiled as Grimms’ Fairy Tales, including “Snow White”, “Sleeping Beauty”, and “Little Red Riding Hood”, were essentially horror stories, rife with violence, bloodshed, and brutality. For example, the original “Frog Prince” was a story of the rape, defiance, and revenge of the princess.
MISCELLANEOUS Productions’ next community-engaged and youth-centred theatre work, Plague, will explore issues that have arisen during the COVID-19 pandemic, viewing the plague through fairy tales, myths, and animal wonder tales from Indigenous and international cultures.
In preparation, director Elaine Carol and other staff have been working with Jack Zipes, a leading expert in folklore and fairy tales. Throughout the creation process participating youth, in collaboration with professional artists, will subvert/decolonize the original Grimm story of plague, “The Pied Piper”, from an intersectional, anti-racist, anti-oppression, queer feminist perspective. Indigenous and international folklore and fairy tales will be featured in this exploration of dis/ease, child abuse and, the powerful, tragic consequences of broken promises in a time of plague, anxiety and uncertainty.
Zipes, a professor emeritus of German, cultural studies, critical theory, and comparative literature, is the translator of two major editions of the tales of the Brothers Grimm. His work focusses on the evolution of fairy tales and their social and political role in the civilizing process. With arguments based on the critical theory of the Frankfurt School, and more recently theories of cultural evolution, he maintains that fairy tales “serve a meaningful social function, not just for compensation but for revelation: the worlds projected by the best of our fairy tales reveal the gaps between truth and falsehood in our immediate society”.
The creation of Plague included a series of “Distance Hats” costume and visual art creation workshops held via Zoom with youth from throughout BC, and a virtual performance-lecture by Zipes filmed in Minneapolis by MISCELLANEOUS Productions’ professionals. Central to the process has been the idea of working with youth to explore the fairy tales, folktales, and myths from their own Indigenous and international cultures, learning to meaningfully integrate those tales with stories from their own lives.
In addition to his deep knowledge of fairy tales and folklore, Zipes brings to the project his own experiences as a co-creator of Neighbourhood Bridges, an internationally-recognized, community-engaged theatre program that uses storytelling and theatre to help children develop their critical and storytelling skills.
MISCELLANEOUS Productions is working in a long-term, community-engaged collaboration with culturally and socially representative youth to create this new, professionally-produced hip hop music theatre work to be presented at The Dance Centre in 2024.
As with other MISCELLANEOUS Productions works, a documentary film will be created that will incorporate elements of the final stage production, workshops, and the virtual performance-lecture by Zipes.
RESURRECTING DEAD FAIRY TALES
A Jack Zipes Lecture
A Celebratory Workshop for Youth in a Time of Isolation and Quarantine
THE SUSAN POND MUSIC 101 PROGRAM FOR YOUTH
A Series of "Music Industry 101" Workshops
with Ann Marie Fleming
20.5 - MISCELLANEOUS Productions’ 20th Anniversary
Facebook Watch Party