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12 13 December - January

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Pippin

Join Us on a Quest for Everlasting Glory

Pask + Paulus

Fifteen Years of Collaboration Sibling Revelry Through the Ages

Hansel & Gretel Into the Oven

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Pippin

A.R.T. guide Staff Managing Editor Ryan McKittrick Senior Editors Brendan Shea Grace Geller Graphic Designers Joel Zayac Tak Toyoshima Contributing Editors Jared Fine Kati Mitchell

Contributors Nancy F. Cott Leslie Gehring Morgan C. Goldstein Eli Keehn Shira Milikowsky Stephen Schwartz Hayley Sherwood Andrew Short Jenna Spencer Liana Stillman Maria Tatar

Hansel and Gretel

It’s my great pleasure to introduce you to our two winter productions: Pippin and Hansel and Gretel. The first is a fable for the modern age, and the second, a beloved, classic tale. We will be presenting both at the Loeb Drama Center just in time for the holidays. On our mainstage, I am thrilled to be directing a new revival of Pippin, the 1973 Tony Award-winning musical by Diane Paulus, Stephen Schwartz and Roger O. Hirson. Artistic Director This production will feature choreography by Gypsy Snider of the Montreal-based acrobatic troupe, Les 7 Doigts de la Main, in concert with Bob Fosse’s original and iconic choreography, re-created by Chet Walker, who was in the original Pippin production. Ms. Snider’s death-defying acrobatic feats, interwoven with the classic Fosse, will give the show a unique physical life that evokes the musical’s central question: how far is each of us willing to go to become extraordinary? December also brings our second A.R.T. holiday family show, this time, an adaptation of the Brothers Grimm’s Hansel and Gretel. Helmed by Allegra Libonati, the inventive director who brought us last season’s sold out The Snow Queen, Hansel and Gretel carries the famed brother/sister pair to the Gingerbread House and back. Follow the breadcrumbs through a riveting, magnificent adventure that the whole family can experience together. Read on in this guide for insider details on both of these shows, and on the artistic processes that drive them. I hope you will join us this winter for the magic and mystery of these two dynamic theatrical events.

Photo: Dario Acosta

Welcome to winter at the A.R.T.!

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Winter Cover: Patina Miller. Hair/Makeup: Phoebe’s Faces, Inc. Photo: Karen Snyder Photography

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December 5, 2012 - January 20, 2013

Music and Lyrics by Stephen Schwartz, Book by Roger O. Hirson, Directed by Diane Paulus A bold new staging of the dark and existential musical you thought you knew. Pippin, on a death-defying journey to find his “corner of the sky,” must choose between a life that’s ordinary or a flash of singular glory. Hansel and Gretel

Original handwritten score for “Magic to Do,” 1972.

SOME THOUGHTS ON PIPPIN AS HE TURNS 40 By Stephen Schwartz

Pippin is forty years old? How can that be? Pippin, who in 1972 arrived on Broadway on his youthful, idealistic and naïve quest for an extraordinary life, returns to try again at the A.R.T. in 2012. And like any forty-year-old, much has happened to him along the way. Actually, Pippin’s life began some five years prior to that, in 1967 at CarnegieMellon University in Pittsburgh. There was a club called Scotch ‘n’ Soda, which presented each spring a new student-written, directed, designed, and performed musical. I had cowritten the show my first two years and was looking for

an idea for my junior year. A fellow drama student, Ron Strauss, had come across a paragraph in a history textbook about the first-born son of Charlemagne and his attempt to overthrow his father. This was at a time when we drama students were much enamored of James Goldman’s The Lion in Winter, able to reel off line after line of its witty acerbic dialogue and delight in its double-and-triple crossing plot twists. What could be more fun than to do a musical medieval courtintrigue melodrama of our own? So we pippin Original Broadway cast Recording album cover

came up with Pippin, Pippin (I no longer remember why we had two “Pippins” in the title), full of plots and counter-plots, bawdy tavern numbers, bucolic love in the French countryside, and as much bitchy dialogue as we could muster. We and our fellow CMU students had a blast with it, and that, as we thought, was that. But a year or so later, as I was getting set to graduate, I got a letter from a wouldbe New York producer who had heard the vanity cast recording we had made of the show, (basically for ourselves and our parents). He said he thought the show had potential, and asked if I would be interested in developing it. Ron gave me license, literally and figuratively, to do so. I will spare you the details of the show’s odyssey over the next five years, but suffice continued on next page >

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it to say that along the way it accumulated a book writer, the smart and funny Roger O. Hirson, an experienced producer, Stuart Ostrow, and a legendary director/choreographer, Bob “The show had Fosse. And by the time the now transmogrified one-name-titled Pippin went into rehearsal for Broadway, into the story of not one line of dialogue, not a young man in one scrap of lyric, and not search of himself, one bar of music from the a story heavily original CMU show remained. The show had transmogrified influenced by the into the story of a young man social upheaval in search of himself, a story happening in heavily influenced by the social America at the upheaval happening in America at the time. It was of course the time.” time of the Vietnam War and the so-called “generation gap,” with its slogan “Never trust anyone over 30.” America was as divided and polarized as— well—as it is now, although along somewhat different fault lines. There was plenty of polarization in the development process for the Broadway show as well. It’s well-known that Bob Fosse and I often found ourselves on opposite sides of our own generation gap, with Roger frequently caught in the middle. But I’ve come to believe that the show benefited from it, since it heightened the dramatic tension of the central conflict in the show between the hopeful naiveté of its title character and the of Bob’s vision” and that “somewhere Bob is worldly-wise cynicism of the Leading Player looking up and laughing.” and his cohorts. I have a feeling that if either Of course there have been other Bob’s point of view or my own at the time developments over time as well: We’ve had totally won out, the show wouldn’t have found other cuts and improvements for lines, worked nearly as well. sharpening of lyrics, better focus for the story Subsequent to the Broadway in spots. A decade or so ago, I wandered into production, Roger and I as authors made a Fringe production of the show in London revisions that brought the show more in line and found that they were trying a different with our original vision. For instance, we cut ending, one that Roger and I immediately many of the Leading Player’s intrusions in knew was better than any we had ever tried the middle of scenes because we felt they or considered. There have been several other diluted the story’s emotional power. But interesting interpretations I have seen over then a funny thing the years. I particularly happened: Over loved a brilliant the years, and production in 2009 by particularly as I found the Deaf West Theatre of myself on the other LA in which Pippin was side of the over-thirty played by two actors, a generation gap, we deaf actor who signed and put them right back a speaking actor, and as in. We even added Pippin’s internal conflict some. At one point, I found myself telling Original an interviewer that handwritten ironically I had score for “Magic become the “guardian to Do,” 1972.

Stephen Schwartz

grew throughout the show, the two actors conflicted with each other more and more. I enjoyed a Pan Asian production in which the court of Charlemagne was a Japanese shogunate and a recent production at the Chocolate Factory in London, in which Pippin was caught inside a video game. Now comes this new production at the A.R.T.. I’m particularly excited about it because director Diane Paulus, as she demonstrated with her wonderful productions of HAIR and The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess, seems to have a unique ability with revivals, to reinvigorate rather than reinvent, to create a production that delivers what audiences loved about the original show and then goes beyond to enhance and illuminate the material. My hope is that, under Diane’s guidance, Pippin at 40 will remain forever young. Stephen Schwartz is a Grammy and Oscarwinning musical theater composer and lyricist. His career spans four decades and includes the musicals Wicked, Godspell and Pippin.


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Dominique Lemieux For world-renowned costume designer Dominique Lemieux, “the soul of a costume is in its musicality.” The “internal rhythm” of a production and each of its performers are where Lemieux, who is designing the costumes for the A.R.T.’s production of Pippin, finds her inspiration. While designing, Lemieux is deeply attuned to the needs of the performers, making choices about the fabric beyond aesthetics; she considers the way that silk will float along a performer’s body as he or she traverses the stage, or the safety of cotton in proximity to open flames or flying machetes. Such specifically eccentric thinking comes with the territory, after all. As one of the original costume designers for Cirque du Soleil, Dominique Lemieux has clothed the world’s best acrobats, jugglers, contortionists and clowns.

“O”, Cirque du Soleil.

At Canada’s National Theatre School, Lemieux found a mentor in one of Montreal’s leading costume designers, Francois Barbeau. After two years of assisting Barbeau and developing her signature style, Lemieux received an offer from an odd little circus troupe called Cirque du Soleil to design costumes for their sophomore production, We Reinvent the Circus (1989). Thus began a tenyear relationship with Cirque du Soleil, in which Lemieux designed costumes for the first wave of incredible Cirque experiences, including Mystère (1993), Quidam (1996), “O” (1998) and La Nouba (1999). After a six-year leave, Lemieux made a triumphant return to Cirque du Soleil, designing Corteo (2005), ZAIA (2008) and Banana Schpeel (2009).

Photo: VÉronique Vial

MystÈre, Cirque du Soleil.

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Designing the costumes for a show as large in scale and spectacle as Cirque du Soleil requires superhuman ingenuity. Each costume is custom-designed for a particular performer and must stand up to the rigor of the performer’s act or skill (a flowing gown, for example, may not be suited for a unicyclist); but each costume also contributes to the mysterious, yet palpable. Lemieux’s work for Cirque du Soleil, and now Pippin, must walk a tightrope between form and function, between artistry and safety.

“O” , Cirque du Soleil.

Check out more of Lemieux’s work at dominiquelemieux.com and see her newest creations in the A.R.T. production of Pippin.

Photo: Julie Aucoin

A Profile on Pippin Costume Designer

Photo: Tomasz Rossa

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Amaluna, Cirque du Soleil. Directed by Diane Paulus, Scenic Design by Scott Pask.

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Creating Worlds Together

Brendan Shea talks with director Diane Paulus and scenic designer Scott Pask about Pippin Diane Paulus and Scott Pask

Brendan Shea: What was your first experience with Pippin? Diane Paulus: I saw Pippin in the 1970s, when it was on Broadway. I saw it three times. I remember loving it as a twelve-year-old. It had this allure, this power as a show. I got the soundtrack and then proceeded to grow up on the music. Like HAIR, it’s one of the shows that I know backwards and forwards from listening to the soundtrack. BS: For me (and I’m sure many others), it was high-school drama camp. Do you think Pippin has a reputation as a “lighter” musical nowadays? Scott Pask: The show is so widely produced in schools and theaters across the country, and I think they often use a more family-friendly version. The original production of Pippin had quite a bit of darkness in the staging. I find that exciting. I know many numbers from the show and some of the iconic staging, but I have never seen a performance of it. DP: If we do our job well, I’m hoping people will say: “Oh my god, I love that music, but I had no idea this show had such a deep, powerful story.” continued on next page >

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BS: What about Pippin inspires you as an artist? DP: I believe there’s a whole generation of people who grew up on that album. That interests me. Now that I’ve been working on the show for the last two years, looking closely at the story and the book, I have come to understand what a powerful piece of theater it is. Pippin deals with an incredibly serious subject: how far would you go to be extraordinary? Will you burn yourself alive to be extraordinary, as Pippin is asked to do by the Leading Player? How far will you go for the ultimate moment of glory? This question is deeply relevant to our lives today. It can be relevant to anyone, from an eighteen-yearold trying to figure out the meaning of their life, to a middle-aged person trying to assess what they’ve achieved in their life. What are the choices we make to pursue a life that is “extraordinary”? SP: I think that the story of Pippin—his journey through adolescence and his wanting to be special, to be spectacular, in a different way than just by inheriting his royal legacy—is an important story of the path towards adulthood. It’s also a path towards understanding responsibility. This is a

challenge that each person has to endeavor, whatever the scale. Some travel this path under more watchful eyes than others; in Pippin’s case, it’s an entire kingdom. DP: What I love about Pippin is that all of this is expressed through a theatrical metaphor. The show is a play within a play. It’s about a troupe of players who are enacting this ritualized performance. In the world of the play, to be extraordinary is to perform “the Grand Finale.” It uses theater as a metaphor for examining one’s own life. BS: This idea of the primal, dark, intense nature of Pippin’s journey, when coupled with the persistent metaphor of theater in the show, really highlights the risk and the danger involved in live performance. DP: And our interest in taking Pippin into the world of Les 7 Doigts de la Main, with their incredible acrobatic feats, takes danger to an even more palpable place. Will you literally jump through a hoop of fire? Will you walk a high wire? Circus artists are, by nature, defying their bodies. They challenge themselves to be truly extraordinary. What I love about 7 Doigts is that they approach acrobatics in a way that’s virtuosic, but also

emotional. Their work is human and gritty. BS: You and Scott also worked with world-class acrobats on Cirque du Soleil’s Amaluna, recently. Are there any lessons from that experience that you’ll be carrying to Pippin? DP: Working on Amaluna was just such an amazing opportunity for Scott and me to increase our experience of what is possible in the theater. It certainly enriched my perspective on the traditional form of circus. SP: With Amaluna, we strove to reach as far into the audience as possible, with acrobatic performance, with scenic elements, with characters, all towards reaching our goal of creating a deeply encompassing theatrical experience. That’s something that I have enjoyed in numerous projects with Diane; she holds that as a specific goal for her work and her theater’s mission. DP: At the A.R.T., we stress to our audiences that theater is not just a play on the stage– you have to expand your definition of theater further and further. With Pippin, the idea of circus enters the equation.

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Photo: Marcus Stern

The Donkey Show. Directed by Diane Paulus, Scenic Design by Scott Pask.


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Pippin Goes Pop

Ben Vereen and the cast of the 1972 Broadway Pippin

The original 1972 Broadway production of Pippin was an enormous hit; it ran for close to 2,000 performances and inspired the hottest pop musicians of the day to record their takes on Stephen Schwartz’s songs.

Jackson 5 If you’re having a bad day, watch their Soul Train performance of “Corner of the Sky.” It’s funky, it’s smooth, it’s endearingly positive…plus, the 5 are even dressed up like a ragtag circus troupe.

DP: Pippin has the structure of a morality play, where a central figure progresses through a series of trials on a journey of self-knowledge. ingredient that, thematically, supports the SP: In working on this musical, I’ve been extraordinary theatrical life that the Players inspired by the liturgically based pageant are inviting Pippin to have. Chet Walker, plays that I went to (and was in!) during our Fosse specialist working on the show, my church youth days, which also helped said to me in a meeting that Bob Fosse was to inform some aspects of the work I did on inspired by the circus, as well as the films The Book of Mormon. I’m interested in many of Federico Fellini; that was a world he was traditions in the history of interested in, though he never theater and visual storytelling. truly went there because he “I have come to For me, Pippin exemplifies made his work with dancers, understand what a form of theater that’s in not circus artists. But there a powerful piece motion, it isn’t rooted; in a is an impulse built into what way, it’s like a tumbleweed of he created that points toward of theater it is. a production. It rolls through Pippin deals with the circus aesthetic. So, I a town and then continues to would hope that this new an incredibly keep on rolling. ingredient feels very organic serious subject: to Pippin. DP: It’s written into the how far would script that the Players come BS: How long have you been you go to be and perform the show, The collaborating? extraordinary?” Life and Times of Pippin. –Diane Paulus It’s set up in the show that SP: Diane and I have been this troupe travels and working together for, I think, does this ritual act with fifteen years. different Pippins. When “the circus comes to town,” you don’t know DP: We started as assistants together, when where they’re from and you don’t know we were both in grad school. who they are; they might seem kind of dangerous, kind of freaky, perhaps from SP: We worked on the original Donkey another world. You never see the circus Show, the Lower East Side Projects with her artists in the supermarket–they’re in that Project 400 group, some opera, HAIR in tent over there, removed from our world Central Park, Broadway and London, then and our time. We’re interested in drawing Cirque du Soleil. We’ve had a long and really on some of that imagery and those feelings great collaboration. associated with the circus in giving an identity to the players in Pippin. The idea BS: What makes it great? with this project is to take what we all know and love about Pippin–which includes Bob SP: I think Diane’s got a spectacular creative Fosse’s choreography–and tell the story as vision. She’s an incredibly articulate artist, powerfully as we can. We’re adding a new

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Hansel and Gretel

SP: I hesitate to define this Pippin as strictly circus; I am also thinking of historical environments related to traveling troubadours, old medicine shows, and medieval morality plays.

Michael Jackson In another Jacksonrelated Pippin cover, a young Michael croons a similarly uplifting rendition of “Morning Glow” on his third solo album, Music & Me.

The Supremes A post-Diana Ross Supremes turned out a sassy cover of “I Guess I’ll Miss the Man” in 1972, belted by the amazing (and supremely underrated) Jean Terrell.

Diana Ross Not to be outdone, the Queen of Motown’s version of “Corner of the Sky” is appropriately graceful, dramatic and uplifting. It was released on her 1979 Live at Caesar’s Palace record, alongside a number of Broadway classics.

Dusty Springfield and Petula Clark This one is particularly interesting. Regretting that she didn’t have the chance to sing a duet with Springfield while she was alive, Petula Clark recorded herself singing “Corner of the Sky” in 2007, then dubbed it over Dusty’s mid-70s recording of the same song.

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and has an insight into the work she tackles that’s inspiring to be around and to be a part of. It’s an incisive, almost surgical look at what she wants to achieve with a piece of work and what her goals for it are. There is an inspiring amount of tenacity to her vision as well. It’s fantastic to see how she can liberate a show, like HAIR, from so many preconceived ideas… people are shocked to see it laid bare, pried open and reinvented. I’m looking forward to joining her on that process with Pippin, to taking this incredibly informed and researched but also passionate approach to re-examining a musical for our time. DP: What I adore about working with Scott is that he’s a thinker—a theater thinker. Of course, his job is to translate ideas into a physical space, but he is a partner in conceptualizing the show. In all the shows that we’ve done together, Scott and I always talked about creating the world of the production. More often than not, the world hasn’t just been the space on the stage. In The Donkey Show, it was an immersive nightclub environment. In HAIR, we started with Central Park as the backdrop

Amaluna, Cirque du Soleil. Directed by Diane Paulus, Scenic Design by Scott Pask.

to our world. When we moved indoors, The Hirschfeld Theater was the site of the “bein.” In Amaluna, it was about the immersive environment of a community of women celebrating a ritual, to which the audience is invited. Everything Scott and I work on together is about worlds, environments, and

Florian Zumkehr in Traces by Les 7 Doigts de la Main.

Les 7 Doigts de le Main

Photo: Michael Meseke

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architectural thinking; we don’t create design that feels separate from you, as an audience member. We have a shared interest in the physical, spatial and theatrical possibilities that an immersive experience can offer.

The Montréal-based circus troupe, Les 7 Doigts de la Main, translates as “the seven fingers of the hand,” a take off of the French idiom, “the five fingers of the hand,” referring to the ways in which discrete parts work together to achieve a common goal. In this case, the seven fingers are the seven founding members of the troupe; their common goal is to distill circus performance to a human scale. Co-founded in 2002 by Gypsy Snider and Shana Carroll, both Cirque du Soleil alums, Les 7 Doigts de le Main originated as a collective of performers before expanding to include directors, choreographers, writers and coaches. A leader in the cirque nouveau (“new circus”) movement, Les 7 Doigts de la Main transgresses tradition and demolishes one’s expectations of the circus. Gone are the days of lion tamers, pancake makeup and clowns armed with seltzer bottles; Les 7 Doigts de la Main relies solely on high-octane, incredibly disciplined acrobatics (and very cool music) to explore the human experience. How exactly can a juggler enlighten your perspective on humanity, you say? It’s all about keeping the work—even the highestaltitude, most nail-bitingly epic work—grounded. According to co-founder Shana Carroll, “the circus element is far more compelling and impressive when it’s coming from someone who is clearly a human being.” This troupe is known for their raw, substantive material and edgy sensibility, and much of it comes from this cool non-conformism to the fantasy that typifies the circus. They reject anything glossy, glittery, or feathery, opting to pull off their superhuman routines in…their underwear. Or a plain white t-shirt. Or a business suit. It reminds the most awe-struck of observers that, yeah, a human being just did that. A human being can do that.


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December 15, 2012 - January 6, 2013

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HANSEL AND GRETEL Directed by Allegra Libonati In the tradition of last season’s holiday hit The Snow Queen, the A.R.T. brings another children’s classic to life– this time, a pair of unfortunate siblings, a breadcrumb trail, and a suspicious gingerbread house in the woods.

Photo: Marty Sohl

Hansel and Gretel Clockwise from top: Hansel and Gretel, Humperdinck’s opera at the Metropolitan Opera; drawing of the witch’s house by Robin Lawrie, Graham Percy, Jenny Williams and Robert Wilson; Hansel and Gretel adaptation From Looney Tunes.

Following the Breadcrumb Trail

Hansel and Gretel in History By Leslie Gehring Who can resist a house made of sugar? The story of Hansel and Gretel is hundreds of years old, but audiences are still drawn to the folktale like hungry children to a gingerbread dwelling. This holiday season, the American Repertory Theater brings Hansel and Gretel to life in a new adaptation directed by Allegra Libonati (The Snow Queen), featuring the A.R.T. Institute Class of 2013. Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm first published Hansel and Gretel in 1812, but the history of the tale goes back much further. It shares many similarities with an Italian fable by Giambattista Basile called “Nennillo and Nennella.” This seventeenth-

century story was likely brought to Germany by the French, who adapted many Italian tales and brought these stories with them when Napoleon invaded Germany. Soon after the Brothers Grimm published the tale, adaptations and retellings in a variety of media began cropping up. One of the earliest and best-known adaptations was created just a few decades after the original publication. In the 1890s, composer Engelbert Humperdinck (not to be confused with the pop singer) and his sister, Adelheid Wette, adapted the tale into an opera. Adelheid wanted to stage the story as a Christmas play for her children, so she asked her brother to write music for one of the

scenes. Once he began composing, he was inspired to continue beyond a single scene and create a full-length opera from the story. He asked his sister to write the libretto. Hänsel und Gretel premiered in Weimar, Germany, in 1893, under the direction of Richard Strauss. It remains Humperdinck’s best-known work and continues to be performed to this day, most recently in a dark and visually arresting production at the Metropolitan Opera in New York staged by Richard Jones. Humperdinck’s is one of many adaptations for the stage. Some stick closely continued on next page >

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Drawing of the witch’s house by Wanda GÁg

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to the well-known versions of the story, such as Thomas M. Hayes’s 1936 “miniature version” of Humperdinck’s opera, adapted to suit children’s voices. Others, such as Alan Ayckbourn’s 1990 This Is Where We Came In mash-up Hansel and Gretel with a host of other stories to satirize fairy tale conventions. A recent Halloweenthemed production by the Scottish theater company Catherine Wheels transformed a theater into a haunted house, in which young audience members followed Hansel and Gretel through forest paths and a spooky gingerbread cabin. In addition to stage versions, the story has been adapted into several movies. As far back as the turn of the twentieth-century, short animated films, made-for-TV movies, and full-length feature films have brought Hansel and Gretel to life for audiences around the world. A particularly well-known adaptation, the 1954 Looney Tunes cartoon, “Bewitched Bunny,” opens with Bugs reading the Grimm tale, when he notices Hansel and Gretel entering Witch Hazel’s house. He decides to rescue them, only to end up on the menu for dinner. With a bit of craftiness and a well-placed emergency potion, he manages to make it out in one piece. The story of two lost children, a candy house, and an evil witch has attracted the attention of audiences for hundreds of years…and with good reason. The classic tale is filled with adventure, surprises and family love. Though numerous adaptations have come and gone, we still have a sweet tooth for Hansel and Gretel.

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Leslie Gehring is a first-year Dramaturgy student at the A.R.T. / Moscow Art Theater School Institute for Advanced Theater Training at Harvard University.

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Photo: Evgenia Eliseeva

the snow queen


americanr epertorytheater.org 2012/13 SEASON

by Maria Tatar Advanced middle age appears to be a popular time for admitting interest in fairy tales. At age fifty-five, George Bernard Shaw declared that he still considered “Grimm” to be “the most entertaining of German authors.” C.S. Lewis confessed to reading fairytales on the sly for years; only after turning fifty did he feel free to acknowledge his addiction to the genre. Compelling in their simplicity and poignant in their emotional appeal, fairy tales have the power to stir long-dormant childhood feelings and to quicken our sympathies for the downtrodden. They also offer wit and wisdom in the trenchant formulations of the folk. There is something in them for every age and generation. It is hardly surprising that the Grimms’ Nursery and Household Tales ranks, by virtue of the number of its German editions and translations, as the runaway best seller of all argues for the civilizing power of the Grimms’ tales and sees in them German books. instruments of enlightenment. Children Need Fairy Tales, the German Folklorists are quick to point out that fairy tales were never really title of Bettelheim’s volume states. Even before the Grimms started meant for children’s ears alone. Originally told at fireside gatherings collecting their tales, Samuel Johnson had proclaimed that “babies or in spinning circles by adults to adult audiences, fairy tales joined do not want to hear about babies; they like to be told of giants and the canon of children’s literature (which is itself of recent vintage) castles, and of somewhat which can stretch and stimulate their little only in the last two or three centuries. Yet the hold these stories minds.” Whether he would have approved of man-eating giants and have on the imagination of children is so compelling that it becomes cannibalistic witches is another question. difficult to conceive of a childhood without them. Growing up without It is not easy to take sides in this debate. Fairy tales may fairy tales implies spiritual impoverishment, as one writer after constitute the childhood of fiction, but they are not necessarily the another has warned. fiction of childhood. Although the stories often side with the childJust how powerfully fairytales stir the imagination of children, hero in his struggle against powerful adversaries and culminate in inspiring strong passions and loyalties in them, is best captured the triumph of the young and weak, they put a good deal of pain by Charles Dickens’ confession of his weakness for one figure in and suffering on display along the way. The degree to which that particular. Little Red Riding Hood was “my first love,” he avowed. pain and suffering dominate the tale varies greatly “I felt that if I could have married Little Red Riding depending on cultural norms, pedagogical demands, Hood, I should have known perfect bliss.” Even and individual preferences. No fairy tale was ever as an adult, Dickens was by no means immune to meant to be written in granite. Like all oral narrative the spell cast by fairy tales. His recollections of the forms, the fairy tale has no ‘correct,’ definitive form. powerful attraction of fairy-tale figures confirm the Instead it endlessly adjusts and adapts itself to every now tired cliché that these stories incarnate our new culture as it takes root.... deepest hopes and most ardent desires. Yet along Few people look to fairy tales for models of with the daydream and its fulfillment comes the humane, civilized behavior. The stories have taken hold nightmare. Wishes and fantasies may come to life for a far more important reason: the hard facts of fairyin the fairy tale, but fears and phobias also become tale life offer exaggerated visions of the grimm realities full-blooded presences.... and outlandish fantasies that touch and shape the lives The question of the merits of fairy tales as Maria Tatar of every child and adult. children’s literature has been debated endlessly over the years. As one critic frames the question: ‘Do children need Maria Tatar is the John L. Loeb Professor of Germanic Languages horror in stories? If so, how much and how soon?’ One camp of and Literatures at Harvard University. She chairs the Program educators and psychologists rallies to the side of censorship, perfectly in Folklore and Mythology, where she teaches courses in German prepared to remove the Nursery and Household Tales—even in its Studies, Folklore, and Children’s Literature. adulterated versions—from the shelves of libraries and nurseries. The other camp, whose most eloquent spokesman is Bruno Bettelheim,

Hansel and Gretel

From The Hard Facts of The Grimms’ Fairy Tales

Pippin

Growing Up Grimm

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Hansel and Gretel

Pippin

2012/13 SEASON americanrepertorytheater.or g

Do-It-Yourself

Gingerbread House Some historians believe that the Brothers Grimm invented the gingerbread house in their nineteenth-century tale Hansel and Gretel. Whatever the origin of such sweet architecture, the gingerbread house has become a symbol of the holidays. Today, professional artists mold, bake, build and decorate elaborate gingerbread scenes for citywide competitions (the Boston Christmas Festival hosts one every year—check out the gingerbread Fenway Park that won in 2008). With a few items from your local grocery store, however, you can construct your own edible dream home in the comfort of your kitchen.

Ingredients 4 2 1 tsp 3 cups

graham crackers egg whites vanilla confectioner’s sugar

To make: » Break 2 graham crackers in half to create 4 small graham squares. These will form the side walls and roof tiles of your house. » Carefully cut a peak into the top half of the remaining 2 graham crackers, to form the front and back walls of your house. These walls should look like a triangle on top of a square. » For the glue, you can make your own Royal Icing. (Ours is adapted from Sandra Lee. You can also use store-bought frosting.) » For the Royal Icing: » Beat egg whites with the vanilla until frothy. » Instead of egg whites, you can substitute 2 ¼ Tbs meringue powder mixed with 4 ½ Tbs warm water » Add the confectionary sugar and continue to beat until well mixed and stiff » Apply the Royal Icing around the edges of the graham crackers and stick together. Use the Royal Icing to glue your house to a paper-plate, a tray, or another foundation. Extra icing can be used to decorate windows, add trim, or adhere shingles to your roof.

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Swedish Gingerbread House from Martha Stewart Pastel Village from Martha Stewart

Decoration suggestions: » Shake confectioner’s sugar over your house to give it that just-snowed-on look » Cut-up sour belts, Oreos, gingersnaps, Necco Wafers, M&M’s, sliced almonds, or Frosted Mini-Wheats make great shingles for your roof » Jellybeans can pave a colorful cobblestone path to your front door » Cinnamon sticks or pretzel sticks piled in the yard will look like firewood; they also can be used to make a fence around your candy property Search online for thousands of gingerbread house recipes and inspirations. Martha Stewart and King Arthur Flour have some clever ideas and clear instructions for all sorts of edible edifices for the holidays.


americanr epertorytheater.org 2012/13 SEASON

Pippin Hansel and Gretel

POETRY PAINTING PUPPETS SCULPTURE SINGING SALSA JAZZ JEWELRY COMEDY DRAMA DANCE FESTIVALS FILM PHOTOGRAPHY

CAC ART: IT’S ALL HAPPENING HERE. CAMBRIDGEARTSCOUNCIL.ORG

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Profile for American Repertory Theater

A.R.T. Guide: Holidays 2012-2013  

Learn more about our winter productions of Pippin and Hansel and Gretel

A.R.T. Guide: Holidays 2012-2013  

Learn more about our winter productions of Pippin and Hansel and Gretel

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