News Column

Twisted fairy tales delight kids at library

June 5, 2014

By Amanda Browning, Greensburg Daily News, Ind.

June 05--GREENSBURG -- Katie Judge and Shelby Putlak, of Minnetrista Theatre Preserves in Muncie, delighted an audience of children and parents at the Greensburg-Decatur County Public Library Wednesday with their performance of "Furry Tails with a Twist."

Using a series of creative puppets, the two women began presenting "the most amazing thing you've seen since... you woke up this morning," according to Katie. When a mishap leads to the script for the three fairy tales being all mixed up, the duo decides to wing it and try to put the script back together as best they can.

When Katie emerged as "Goldisocks" with Shelby narrating, the children were delighted by a character that was unlike any in the stories they'd heard before. The beloved classic tale of Goldilocks was twisted around as Goldisocks broke into the home of the three wolves, ate their porridge and sat in their chairs of brick, sticks and straw.

When questioned about the chairs by Goldisocks, the narrator simply said, ""Hey, I'm just following the script," while the audience giggled at the silliness of it all.

Goldisocks escaped from the wolves after a hilarious Benny Hill-style chase scene, complete with the iconic music. While the narrator wondered about the girl's fate and the punishment she'd receive for breaking and entering and destruction of property, Katie merely said the wolves likely cleaned up, filed an insurance claim and learned to lock their door, much to the amusement of the parents in the audience.

The children were warned not to wander alone because it could be dangerous and to not break into strangers' homes. "Grumbledump" the pig was introduced next, guarding a bridge that was covered in trash from people throwing their refuse out car windows. The pig loved the trash and controlled passage over the bridge with a ferocity matched only by its love of trash.

When a young troll attempted to cross the bridge, Grumbledump refused to let him by until the young troll promised his older brother carried a backpack full of trash. The older troll soon approached the bridge and learned his sibling had promised his trash to the pig. Being a crafty troll, he convinced Grumbledump to forego his bag of trash in favor of the large trash can his older brother would be carrying.

The trash-loving pig wasn't able to resist the temptation and allowed the second troll to cross the bridge. Finally, the largest of the three troll brothers arrived at the bridge, with no trashcan. The troll said, "Trash bad, recycle good," and offered to help Grumbledump clean up the trash. The pig didn't want to, but was scared by the large fearsome troll. However, the big troll was nice and apologized for scaring the pig.

Because the wolves ended up in the first story, Katie and Shelby had three bears they had to work into the show somehow. But Shelby forgot to bring the bear costumes and they had to improvise.

"Once upon a time, there were three bears that lived... in the audience!" Shelby declared as she got a brilliant idea.

Three volunteers were picked and dressed in fur lined raincoats and given bear noses. After learning how to stand like a bear, they were shown to their new homes. The first little bear built a home from fruit peels, the second from tin cans and the third from an old playground sidewalk.

When they were safe and secure in their homes, the Big Bad Billy Goat came by, demanding to be let in. When the first bear refused, the billy goat declared he would "stomp and snort and chew the house down."

The fruit peel provided no challenge and a tasty meal for the billy goat and the tin can house was a yummy snack. But when he got to the playground sidewalk house, the billy goat couldn't chew that house down. A well-timed sneeze blows the third house away, leaving the bears exposed for the billy goat to eat.

Katie and Shelby declared the story couldn't end that way and decided to check the script for the real ending with no luck. At the last second, Shelby decided the billy goat couldn't eat them because they were bear ninjas, which scared the goat long enough for them to get away.

Afterward, the children helped sort out the stories so the right characters were with the right tale. Shelby and Katie then performed abridged versions of the tales, completing all three in less than 90 seconds. The duo answered questions from the audience and reminded children to read and write fairy tales.

Children's librarian Jill Pratt said, "I think what I really liked about the show was the tie in with fairy tales. It goes so well with the summer reading program and they did it in a way that involved the kids and kept them engaged."

Contact: Amanda Browning 812-663-3111 x7004;


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Source: Greensburg Daily News (IN)

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