Northeastern Illinois University
Children’s Theatre Workshop

A Grimm Realization

First published in 1812, the folk and fairy tales collected by the Grimm Brothers are enduring favorites.  From the sugar coated Disney versions of the 1940's to today's dark TV series, the stories remind us of loyalty and luck, of devotion and deception, of patience and perseverance, of finding the way and finding the truth, and, occasionally, of magic. 

NEIU's original Chamber Theatre adaptation realized tales both well known and obscure, both comic and grim: for each performance the child audience selected which tales they wanted to see.  The production was seen by almost 1100 school children in grades 3 to 8. 

Chamber Theatre is a method of adapting non-dramatic literature for theatrical performance.  It was devised by Professor Robert S. Breen (1909-1991), who introduced Chamber Theater to his Oral Interpretation Classes at Northwestern University in 1947.

Chamber Theatre is characterized by maximal amount of the work's original text, and by minimal and suggestive production elements.  It stresses maintaining and honouring the text and tone of the original work, and the use of a narrative voice.  The relative lack of sets, lights and costumes allows for rapid changes of time and place, and for many characters to be played by very few performers. 

The Tales
The Cat and Mouse in Partnership
The Frog Prince
Hansel and Gretel
The Twelve Dancing Princesses

The company introduces A GRIMM REALIZATION - L to R: 
Daviel Bailon, Briana Pavone, Jordan Brown, Jessica Morgan, John Portenlanger,
Dane A Campbell, Adelina Dimas, Kelley Gazer, Demi Yaou
Jessica Morgan teaches the song to the audience.

CAT AND MOUSE - Dane A Campbell as the Cat
CAT AND MOUSE - L to R:  Demi Yaou and Dane A Campbell

FROG PRINCE - L to R:  Dane A Campbell and Demi Yaou
FROG PRINCE - L to R:  Dane A Campbell, Kelley Gazer, Adelina Dimas, Demi Yaou

HANSEL AND GRETEL – the witch entices the children
L to R:  Jordan Brown, Jessica Morgan, Briana Pavone
HANSEL AND GRETEL – “and the wicked witch was miserably burned to death”

John Portenlanger narrates HANSEL AND GRETEL
Kelley Gazer as RAPUNZEL
top to bottom:  John Portenlanger as the narrator,
Daviel Bailon (and puppets) as 10 princesses,
Briana Pavone and Jessica Morgan
as the youngest and oldest princesses.

THE TWELVE DANCING PRINCESSES – L to R:  Daviel Bailon as 10 dancing princesses,
Adelina Dimas as 10 dancing princes

RUMPELSTILTSKIN – L to R:  Briana Pavone, Jessica Morgan, John Portenlanger
RUMPELSTILTSKIN – L to R:  Jordan Brown, Jessica Morgan, Briana Pavone

A GRIMM REALIZATION Full Company – Standing: Jordan Brown, John Portenlanger, Katie Heer, Catalina Vasile, Dane A Campbell, Paulina Candelario,
Kelley Gazer, Adelina Dimas, Demi Yaou; Seated: Jessica Morgan, Briana Pavone, Daviel Bailon, Alyson Petroski.

A GRIMM REALIZATION Crew – L to R:  Katie Heer, Catalina Vasile,
Paulina Candelario, Alyson Petroski
The Children’s Theatre Workshop Lobby Display

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