In Pursuit of Faerie Tales
Happy National Tell a Fairy Tale Day!
We’d like to take a moment to celebrate this holiday with you and reflect on the tradition of sharing stories. If you’ve followed our journey at all, you already know that The Impostors Theatre Co. wholeheartedly embraces the tradition of storytelling (you probably just rolled your eyes a bit and let a derisive gust of air pass through your nostrils. You know, you get, WE LOVE STORIES AND SHARING THEM!) All theatre is a form of storytelling, an active form that engages its listeners in an immediate way. The key is to create a story that reverberates beyond the confines of the stage, and it’s nary an easy feat.
When you hear the words “Fairy Tale,” no doubt your mind conjures up images of towers and braids, curses and acts of courage, and, of course, tiny people with wings and wands. But let’s not generalize things. Fairy tales encompass the long history of oral tradition and myth, stories first passed down by ancestors and world-weary travelers. Their purpose was meant not merely for the sake of entertainment, but to convey some sort of message about living in a way that lasted. Be it a piece of advice, a reminder, a hidden truth, or a warning, fairy tales have become timeless in their telling.
We enjoy drawing on these themes so often found in fairy tales and children stories in the work we produce. We find it more compelling to navigate the complexities of the human experience when we view them through the lens of more fantastic circumstances. We cherish our first production, The Wood, in quite literally embracing the backdrop of an enchanted forest (complete with faeries!) while dramatizing a very modern and nuanced relationship. Our current production, Caged: An Allegory, flips things a bit - the setting is as modern as its characters, but the course of action becomes increasingly fabled.
Do you ever wonder about the differences between the spellings of the word - fairy vs. faerie? Believe it or not, they are two different meanings. “Fairy” derives from the Latin word “fatum,” meaning “fate.” According to ye olde lore, fairies are young, innocent spirits. Think Tinkerbell (although she could be a little snotty) or that one mouthy fairy from The Legend of Zelda (“Hey! LISTEN!”) These fairies are characterized by devotion and service, and a general sense of well-being.
“Faerie,” on the other hand, derives from the Gaelic term “fear shidhe,” or “man of the shee.” Unlike fairies, faeries are considered at best mischievous and at worst pure evil. Steer clear of them, for they be dangerous and conniving. The Faerie King and his Faerie Court, key players in The Wood, serve as quintessential examples of the kinds of faeries you want to avoid at all costs. If you didn’t catch this show, just think of, say, banshees.
We’re going to raise a glass of the Green Fairy (i.e. Green River that we’re pretending is absinthe because who can afford absinthe?) and vow to face the Faeries we try so hard to avoid. While living happily ever after is a fine enough goal, it makes for a much less interesting story. Cheers!