Play presents Fairy tale in a new light

The big bad wolf is bad no more. Once Upon a Wolf is not an average fairy tale as the story explores a variety of fables within a single play.

“The theme of the show is individuality,” said Brendan Hoyle, theater director. “In Once Upon a Wolf, the main character decides he doesn’t want to be the bad guy any longer. The show demonstrates that anyone can be whoever they want to be.”

The fast and furious collection of fractured fairy tales gives a modern twist to what happens when the Big Bad Wolf decides he doesn’t want to be big or bad anymore.

Elizabeth Hughes ’20 takes on the lead role as Old Granny Stinky Feet who narrates the play. Her character has trouble with the wolf because he isn’t upholding his end of the story by eating Granny. Instead, he wants to be the good guy.

“The play starts off telling the story of Little Red Riding Hood from the wolf’s point-of-view and shows how he is really a nice wolf. It also shows how the villain isn’t bad or what people may think of him,” said Elizabeth. “After that, the next story is the Three Little Pigs and the wolf [proclaims] I don’t want to be the bad guy anymore and tries to paint himself as a hero. The story really shows two perspectives, the villain verses everyone else.

The wolf’s mission is to become a hero no matter how many people tell him it’s impossible.

“I have directed Once Upon a Wolf a few times with student performers, and it’s always a lot of fun and provides many funny and interesting characters for our students to portray. The show is exciting and provides a good message,” said Hoyle. “With this being our final production of the school year, our talented students are demonstrating their ever-growing confidence and skill at performing on stage. With each show we have more students involved as enthusiasm grows for the program. I am excited for this group of sixth, seventh and eighth graders to show the audience what they have been working on for the past five weeks.”

Elizabeth has participated in theater for the past two years, including Aladdin and Alice in Wonderland.

“I’ve learned a lot from both Mr. Hoyle and Mrs. Francis. They taught me [various] acting skills, such as line lifting, how to articulate words when speaking fast and stage presence,” said Elizabeth. “From watching the play, I hope the audience [particularly] parents will see a new point-of-view, because when they tell this story they think of the wolf or the evil stepmother as bad and never good. I think the play puts it in a whole new perspective. It’s also a life lesson because though someone did something bad at one particular time, [it] doesn’t make him or her a bad person. You have to understand why they did it.”

Student involvement with our theater productions is at an all time high.

“I’m so pleased that the program is growing in size and enthusiasm,” said Hoyle. “While we are graduating many talented seniors in the upper school, we are also happy to be welcoming many new rising ninth- and sixth-grade students to the upper and middle school theatre programs.”

Join our students on Friday, May 20, and Saturday, May 21, at 7 p.m. in the Hackney Theater to watch the play, and again for a matinee on Sunday, May 22, at 3 p.m.