Fairy tales flood Bowlus stage

By BOB JOHNSON
Register City Editor

Register/Bob Johnson
Drew Smith and Kirstin McGuffin rehearse a scene from one of the fairy tales that make up “The Brothers Grimm Spectaculathon.” At right, Hallie Wolf is pensive in this scene from the play, which opens tonight at the Bowlus Fine Arts Center.

Iola High’s fall stage presentation, “The Brothers Grimm Spectaculation,” is an amalgamation of fairy tales performed in rapid-fire succession.
The show was written in 2007, based on classic fairy tales recorded by Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm in 1812. The play opens tonight at the Bowlus Fine Arts Center and continues Friday night, at 7 o’clock each night. Admission is free.
In preparations for the play, Director Richard Spencer mined Iola High’s dramatic soil and struck gold time after time. He asked most of the 18 young actors to play several roles in the two-hour production and no matter who is on stage at any time, the upbeat, complex, humor-laced and occasionally naughty renditions of well-known fairy tales are performed swimmingly.
Jasmine Bannister, as Narrator 1, notes that IHS players took some license to update the tales to make them more socially relevant, but did nothing to detract from their original appeal.
She and Skylar Strickler, as Narrator 2, are on stage throughout to illuminate and also as participants in some vignettes. Both occasionally carry on dialogues with audience members, which enlivens the play even more.
While most of the actors assume multiple roles, it is Kent Toland, a veteran of the Bowlus Fine Arts Center stage, who wears himself ragged with the technique in the tale of Cinderella.
He grabs one wig after another to portray both ugly stepsisters, the wicked stepmother and a flock of birds, as well as the prince who eventually carries off to wedded bliss Cinderella, played by Hannah Barclay.
All of the players perform at a level seldom found in those so young.
Maggie Terhune as Little Red Riding Hood is pragmatic and worldly to the point that her dialogue is interspersed with timely “bleeps” and Ryan Weir, as the prince who woos Rapunzel, played by Kayla Callahan, approaches the part with a modern cavalier attitude that adds much to his scenes.
Other actors are Hallie Wolf, Whitney Olson, Drew Smith, Abbey St. Clair, Colton Shubert, Kirstin McGuffin, Hayden Wolf, Adam Morrell, Sydney Owens, Audrea Stahl and Kyler Tatsch.
Jeff Jordan, Bowlus tech director, joins Spencer to give adult guidance to the young actors. Students enrolled in drama classes at the Bowlus Center provide technical and behind-the-scenes support.