Stories with Spirit “Princesses After Dark”
McKenna Brooks • August 21, 2017 • 2017 Boulder International Fringe Festival •
For this performance, there are two storytellers: Rachel Ann Harding and Cooper Braun. These two tell different stories each time in rotation, allowing the audience to pick from a set of pictures to determine which stories they would tell. All of their stories are renditions of classic fairy tales. They take inspiration from different cultures, folklore, and Grimms’ Fairy Tales, as well as from their own imaginations. It’s old tales for a new millennium. At the show I attended, they told four stories: Beauty and the Beast, Cinderella, the Confessions of Prince Charming, and a tale of story and truth. Each show will feature new stories, so every performance is unique! “Princesses After Dark” is appropriate for all ages and has something everyone will enjoy.
Both Harding and Braun are fantastic storytellers. They’ve mastered inflection, diction, and imagery that captivates the audience and really makes their stories come alive. We are all familiar with the princess stories told by Disney, and I found it very interesting to listen to different versions that emulated the original tales. My favorite was Harding’s version of Cinderella. The storyline was the same, but she incorporated the original story with darker, more evil aspects. Braun’s story of Beauty and the Beast was very different from the story I’m familiar with, but it was unique, haunting, and beautiful in its own way. I like that he took such creative freedom when writing this tale. Talking to the performers after the show, Braun explained that he wanted to remind people of the magic and power of storytelling. Having grown up on stories, he wanted to bring the audience back to their childhood.
You can experience “Princesses After Dark” at the Wesley Theater