Over the past two weekends, the drama classes at Riverbank High School have staged a fairytale ‘mash-up’ in the Black Box Theatre. It concluded its run Saturday evening, Nov. 17 on the RHS campus.
The group staged The Brothers Grimm — Spectaculathon, a creation of author Don Zolidis, who wrote the play produced by the drama department last year. Game of Tiaras, a similar ‘mash-up,’ was staged last November by RHS.
On the author’s website, he describes this project this way: “The fairy tales of the Brothers Grimm are turned on their heads in this fast-paced, rollicking ride; Two narrators and several actors attempt to combine all 209 stories ranging from classics like Snow White, Cinderella, and Hansel and Gretel to the more bizarre, obscure stories like The Devil’s Grandmother and The Girl Without Hands. It’s a wild, free-form comedy with lots of audience participation and madcap fun.”
And with such a long list of characters, the nearly two-hour production requires most actors to undertake several roles, multiple characters. You couldn’t tell the players without a program.
And they even had assistance in a cameo role from a school district official. Riverbank Schools Assistant Superintendent Christine Facella portrayed one of a series of mothers in the production. And her boss, Superintendent Dr. Daryl Camp, checked out the performance on closing night, last Saturday.
The event was staged by the high school Drama Club, with assistance by the RHS Stage Craft class, and directed by the high school’s Drama/English teacher, Lezlie Aker.
Two narrators, Maddison Schroeder and Ryan Hetzler, introduce the story, then interject details connecting the various characters into one big, semi-happy family during the evening’s antics. It turns out that one fair damsel might be the mother in one of the tales, then the daughter in the next. And there are plenty of princes to go around, while witches and devils wield their own mischief throughout the narrative.
The students have been working on the production since school started in August.