Westerville News & Public Opinion

'Fractured' puts Central students to fun test

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Little Red Riding Hood (junior Meghann Kasson) meets the Hungry Wolf (senior Justin Schroeder) in rehearsal for Westerville Central High School's spring production, Fractured Fairy Tales.

Westerville Central High School students test out their playwright, improv and acting skills with their spring play, Fractured Fairy Tales.

Using several Grimm's fairy tales in their original (meaning non-Disney influenced) form, students reimagined and reworked endings to the classic tales.

"If they didn't feel up for directing, it was a way for them to express a way, or a funny way of how it should have happened," said Hillary Billups, director of the play.

Students will perform shortened versions of the traditional storylines of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, Rapunzel, Cinderella, Hansel and Gretel, Goldilocks and the Three Bears, Little Red Riding Hood and The Three Little Pigs.

Then, all the stories get a do-over with student-written endings.

The Three Little Pigs will provide another challenge, as student-actors will allow the audience to select the new ending.

"It gives them a little bit of improv, which they never get to do," Billups said. "This time, they get a little bit more freedom."

Billups said this process allowed the technicians and actors to learn about each others' roles. All of the students involved in the production -- crew and actors together -- designed sets, picked music for scenes and selected costumes. Students carefully chose everything the audience sees onstage.

"I wanted to encourage and blur the lines between technician and actor," Billups said. "I wanted the actors to understand what the technicians do so that they appreciate each other."

Their favorite part of the whole process was "fracturing" the fairy tales. Sophomore Diane Mardis said rewriting the endings was a fun, collaborative process.

"I liked that when you had an idea on how it should be fractured, no one said no to it," Mardis said. "It was great because no ideas got rejected and everybody got a say."

In the original Grimm's fairy tales, the stories have rather dark, ominous endings. Junior Meghann Kasson said part of the challenge was keeping the alternate endings kid-friendly and not Disney-inspired.

But Kasson and the cast loved the creative aspect of the process.

"We had to stay child-appropriate when we fractured them and make it something so the children will laugh and get involved," Kasson said. "I'm really excited to see how the kids will react."

The cast will perform a show this afternoon, May 1, for Alcott Elementary School students as a warm-up for opening night.

Shows for the public are at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, May 2-3 at Central, 7118 Mount Royal Ave. Tickets are $6 (cash only) and can be purchased at the door.