By: Kian Hagerman
The MCC Theatre will see an adaptation of “Rumpelstiltskin” grace its stage, in a production by the theatre & film arts department directed by Kevin Dressler.
“This is a play by Linda Daugherty. She wrote the play in 2007; it’s a relatively new play,” Dressler said.
Following the fairytale story by The Brothers Grimm, a woman named Alana is taken and given the impossible task of spinning straw into gold; she accepts the dubious offer of help from the supernatural being Rumpelstiltskin, who lends the story its name.
The play will be performed at MCC, as well as tour in the Mesa Public Schools district.
“Rumpelstiltskin” has many themes relevant to modern audiences, including children, according to Dressler.
“There is a sellable theme in the story, and one that goes over the head of the average kid,” Dressler said. “It’s a play about greed.”
Dressler said that three of the main male characters are motivated by greed; a father that compromises his daughter’s safety unintentionally to avoid paying taxes, a king that desires gold enough to kidnap one of his subjects, and the title character’s greedy inclination for companionship.
There is a line in the play that encapsulates this message.
“Birdy literally says greed makes fools of us all,” Dressler said.
There is another, darker undercurrent that is present in the tale as well, however.
Alana is used by those around her, those she should be able to trust to their benefit.
“The undiscovered message of ‘Rumpelstiltskin’ is that Alana is a victim of human trafficking,” Dressler said.
With the play touring to various public schools, actors will have a chance to perform for a unique audience in the
form of children.
“We think it is good for actors to have that opportunity to do a touring show,” Dressler said.
Dressler said that the actors would benefit from performing for what can be a difficult audience, and that if one can perform for children successfully they can for any audience.
There will be some slight differences between how the play is performed at MCC and when it is on tour.
“We have to be attentive to the educational needs of Mesa Public Schools,” Dressler said.
This includes a moratorium on the portrayal of violence, which could inspire imitation if performed.
Actors will also have to accommodate the spaces they will perform in, as each new environment will also provide new challenges.
“It gives them something that’s out of the ordinary, and gives them the opportunity to think,” Dressler said.
Dates for performances of ‘Rumpelstiltskin’ at MCC are set for Oct. 16 and 17 at 7 p.m.,with a matinee performance on Oct. 18 at 2 p.m.
Touring will take place on Fridays throughout October and November at eight Mesa public schools.