“Now, my friends… do you like stories about rousing sword fights? Do you like stories about fire-breathing dragons? Well, this story has absolutely none of that!” says Christophe as the townspeople of a small European village gather to hear this itinerant storyteller. Soon the villagers clamor to tell their own stories. And the seemingly silly and simple tales, infused with the villagers’ personalities, become important lessons of patience (“No More Than a Tiger’s Whisker”), friendship (“Birds of a Feather”), and love (“A Ring of Truth”). The villagers add not only action but humor and heart, making the tales and folklore come alive for all. Simple staging and an even distribution of parts.
With Whitney Ryan Garrity
What inspired you to write this play?
I was commissioned by the Lubbock ISD to write a play that could accommodate 13 schools rehearsing it separately and then performing it all on the same night. I was inspired by Panchatantra, East Indian folk tales. I then broadened my search for stories from cultures around the globe.
What's your favorite part or line in the play? Why?
I love the scenes featuring Arvid as the wise old sage. The sage character was required in one of the tales and then I added him to two others, to add humor to the stories.
Where did the characters come from? Are they based on people you know?
The characters of the Villagers themselves would obviously be inspired by people around me or that I've known in my life.
What did you try to achieve with this play?
My goal was to have the various villagers act out traditional folk tales from different cultures, while maintaining their personalities as individual villagers.
Do you have anything else you'd like to add?
I'm proud that the play, while adapting centuries old folk tales, can still be relevant today. This is particularly true of "No More Than a Tiger’s Whisker" with its comment on PTSD.