Chicago Street spins fairy tale magic with 'Snow White'

2012-08-31T00:00:00Z Chicago Street spins fairy tale magic with 'Snow White'Tim Shellberg Times Correspondent
August 31, 2012 12:00 am  • 

Kattness Everdeen may be reigning supreme in the fictional heroine department these days, but Snow White is certainly giving her a run for the money.

The last 12 months has seen the classic fairy tale reimagined, with varying degrees of success, on small screen shows such as "Once Upon a Time" and "Grimm," and at cineplexes worldwide with "Snow White and the Huntsman" and "Mirror, Mirror."

To Mary A. Bird, co–director of Valparaiso's Chicago Street Theatre's production of "Snow White," the present is as good a time as any for her and her company to put their own spin on the beloved tale.

"It's kind of cool that we have all the cross–promotion with the two movies and the two TV series," she said. "The opportunity and the timing was perfect."

Opening Aug. 31 and running through Sept. 9, the origins of "Snow" can be traced to an early 19th century tale penned by the German Brothers Grimm. For many a past and present fairy tale buff, the preferred adaptation of the tale came in 1937, when Walt Disney animated the story as "Snow White and the Seven Dwarves."

"I'm a Disney fan and she's the original," said "Snow White" co–director Kelly Weisenbacher. "She's a classic. I grew up on her."

In their search for the script to present for Chicago Street's family presentation, Bird and Weisenbacher went through a myriad of scripts before settling on an adaptation of "Snow" by J. Michael Straczynski. He also penned episodes for television shows including "Babylon 5" and  films "Thor" and "The Changeling."

"We just didn't want to put a Disney movie on stage, but there's certain things that the audience expects," Bird said. "We found another script that we liked, but it was so true to the Grimm (version) and was way too dark. This one is as true as you can get to the original fairy tale, and that's what we were going for."

For their production of "Snow," Bird and Weisenbacher cast 20 area thesps ranging in age from 4 to 60something. The pair are as fond of the set created for their production as they are of their cast.

"There's not one inch of stage that will not be fairy tale," Bird said. "There's not just platforms and pools of light. This is a full–on, huge production."

Following the Aug. 31 debut, there will be a reception at Cornucopia Coffee Company, 210 E. Lincolnway, Valparaiso. Additionally, a brunch with the cast is scheduled for 1 p.m. Sept. 1 at Strongbow Inn, 2405 E. U.S. 30, Valparaiso.

Next up for Chicago Street Theatre is a production of the horror classic "Dracula," scheduled to open Oct. 12. 

Copyright 2014 All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

In This Issue