Friday, February 1, 2013

20th Anniversary Memories: Fairy Tales of the Absurd

A short story about Fairy Tales of the Absurd, by actor and Artistic Board member Uma Incrocci.

Fairy Tales of the Absurd played at the Ionesco Festival, FringeNYC and eventually Off-Broadway at Theater 80. I was lucky enough to be in all three productions. It was the best kind of children’s show, the kind that brings out the kid in everyone.

Once there was a girl who loved to do plays.

She read a newspaper called Backstage, where there were jobs for actors.

She answered an ad, and she felt very lucky, because she got a job in a play.

In this play, she got to play a little girl. A very little girl, who was less than three years old.

Since she was a big girl, the director (who is in charge of doing all the deciding for a play) decided that she would use a puppet to play the little girl.

This puppet was very cute. Her hair was made of yarn and her dress was pink and she had blue bows in her hair. The girl also wore a dress that was pink and had blue bows in her hair. Her hair was not made of yarn.

Together, the puppet girl and the real girl had many adventures. When they were together, their name was Josette.

The play was written by a man named Eugene Ionesco. He had a BIG imagination and saw the world in his own way. He liked to remind serious grown-ups that really, life can be pretty silly. The play was very funny and sweet, and in it Josette had a wonderful father who told her all sorts of wonderful stories, and a housekeeper who wore a flowered dress. There was an elevator ride, a moon made of cheese and a whole pile of dolls all named Jacqueline.

There was a time in September 2001 when the people of New York City were very sad. They were sad because the Twin Towers were destroyed and there was a hole left in all of their hearts. This was the same time when the play was happening. It was hard but all the actors and the director decided that the play had to go on – and the show made the children and their grown-ups who came to it laugh and it made them all feel just a little bit better.

Then, two years later, the girl got to be Josette again, this time in big celebration of many plays called the Fringe Festival. This time, the girl also got to be a Princess. This was not a frilly pink princess, but a princess from another planet whose face was blue. In the play, she grew another head! But in the end she grew to love her second head and there was a happy ending. And a talking pudding.

The people at the Fringe Festival loved it so much that the director had to make another decision. He decided that more people should see this play and get a chance to see the talking pudding.

The play moved to a bigger theater and all the actors in the play got to join Actors Equity. This meant that doing this play was finally a real job. This made the actors very happy, especially the girl. They got to do the show every night for many weeks and make all sorts of people laugh.

The sad thing about plays is one day they are over. The props and costumes get put away. Everyone hugs and says good-bye. But this is also one thing that makes plays so special.

Josette and the girl and the director and all the lovely people who worked on the show went out for a beer. They toasted to a wonderful play and hoped they would work together again soon. In fact, they did. There were many plays to come.

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