When most people think of play, they think of being a child, of duck-duck-goose, of naive wonder in the world. Of course, most people also don’t think of themselves as playful, relegating that to the world of children. Not according to the Performing and Visual Arts acting seniors, who will be performing the upcoming The Brothers Grimm Spectaculathon in April. “I think that people need to play even as adults,” comments Miel Hunt, who plays the Devil and Witch 1, “It benefits our mental health, it benefits us as people. You need to take some time out of just constant work and constant what am I going to do next?” The Brothers Grimm Spectaculathon is exactly that, a hilarious combobulation of fairy tales as one huge super mega story.
What started out as a simple conversation about what they wanted to impart before they left for college became something more. The senior class had been brainstorming for some time, jumping from topic to topic until they settled on something light hearted. And after finding the perfect, ridiculous script they immediately jumped into the process. “ Over this past year, the acting majors at PVA have spent a lot of time and energy connecting with the community about important issues,” explains Dana Parsons, director of the performance and the acting PVA teacher, “Of course, these issues were heavy topics (such as heroin overdose, women’s equality, and child abuse initiatives). Upon reflection of the work, the students discussed that in order to truly make an impact, we all need to find a balance with the lighter side of things. In order to be our most authentic selves and continue to make such a powerful impact within the community, it is important to remember that we too, must play in order to continue to honestly connect with others.”
The Brothers Grimm Spectaculathon weaves different stories together, narrated by Kohner Evans and Matthew Lucente, who play Narrator 1 and Narrator 2. “He’s playful in the fact that he never takes anything seriously,” Matthew stated when asked about his character, “It’s actually very interesting that the character is actually a lot like me. And so I get to play with the fact that I get such great dialogue and such a great opportunity to just make my character whoever I want. Usually you don’t get that liberty, usually there’s a set in stone this is how a character has to be. And so it’s fun for me.”
Miel Hunt agrees when it comes to her character, the Devil. “Devil as a baby is very much like everything is wondrous and beautiful and Devil as an adult is still playful, he’s playing with everyone he meets. He’s like, ay, how you doing, it’s all just one big joke to him, it’s all just one big game and just to see what people like. He’s happy, and so I hope that that contributes to the message, that he doesn’t take things seriously. Now sometimes you should take things seriously, but the Devil is living his life.” And that’s what the senior class is hoping to teach, that being playful is important for everyone, which is why they’re targeting the working population, reaching out to several businesses to come to their performance. “I hope the during the performance they get that they can let loose,” Katrina
Stubbs says, who plays the Enchantress and Gretel, “And just be themselves without worry. And I hope that afterwards they think, where am I not having play, and where should I have play? I would teach them how to play, like it’s okay, you’re safe, it’s not as scary as you think it is. Really though, you are safe.”
Students are currently in rehearsal. The performance will take place April 20th, at 6 pm in the Outdoor Courtyard at Studio 39, 291 Locust Ave, Annapolis, MD 21401. An interactive pre-show will begin at 5:30 pm. Bring your picnic blankets and snacks! Admission is free. For more information, please call the Studio 39 Office at 410-280- 1501 or email [email protected].