Fairy Tales are Everywhere

As I mentioned earlier, when Jesse and I first started looking at using these exciting new fairy tales for our traveling puppet show project we got a little bit stuck because most of them were only available in German – which neither of us speak. Some very kind friends and family helped us out with the translations, but while we were waiting we decided to spend some time researching the idea of Fairy Tales in general. Where do they come from, what was their original purpose, and what role do they play in our contemporary world?

Well, not surprisingly, although we’ve come across many interesting theories and ideas, there aren’t really any definitive answers to those questions. One thing that we can say for certain though, is that fairy tales are certainly present in modern culture – once you start looking for them you find them everywhere! I’ve found references in songs, novels, news stories, tv shows, blog posts, podcasts…

fairy tale forest

One of my favourite finds has been this series of photographs by landscape photographer Kilian Schönberger. He captures the mood of 19th century fairytales in photos of German forests that somehow manage to feel both sinister and enchanting.

For any of you who are interested in jumping down the rabbit-hole of fairy tale research with us, here are a few more links to get you started:

Designing our Flying Box

When Jesse and I first started talking about creating a puppet show from the exciting new fairy tales she had found, one of our first considerations was “what kind of puppets and what kind of stage will best fit these stories?” In the beginning it was a bit of a guessing game, as we only had access to three stories that had been published on the web in English. But we knew for sure that we wanted the theatre to be sturdy, beautiful and most of all PORTABLE. Our goal is to be able to perform these stories anywhere and everywhere, at festivals, in parks, schools, community centers, maybe even in the metro or on the street.

So, last January, while I had a little bit of time between other jobs, I sat down with Google Sketchup and started dreaming about a theatre in a park. Here’s what I ended up with:

Puppet Theatre Design

Of course, it’s easy to build a virtual stage – a bit harder to make it a reality! We started out making a “junk” version out of cardboard and found materials, in order to make sure that the dimensions would be right for our puppets. We’re incorporating these refinements into our revised designs, and with a little bit of help we will soon be well on our way to building the portable stage we’ve been dreaming of!