Hayden students put spin on classic fairy tales for school play

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What: "Fractured Fairy Tales," Hayden High School spring theater production; written and produced by Hayden High School students

When: 6:30 p.m. March 17 and 18

Where: Hayden High School auditorium

Cost: $5 to $10 (any admission in that range accepted)

Call: 276-3761

— When Sonia Salberg decided on updated fairy tales for a Hayden High School theater production, she was motivated at least in part by the size of the school's drama program.

"Everybody likes a good fairy tale," Salberg said. "We don't have a very big theater department - I thought this way, we can have a small cast and just kind of do a spin on some of the classic tales."

Salberg, a second-year English and theater teacher at the high school, recruited two of her students to write sections of the production. With the added incentive of performing material written by their peers, more students turned out for the play than Salberg expected.

"Because it was all kid-produced, a lot of kids were more interested in being in the plays because their friends wrote them," she said.

On March 17 and 18, the Hayden High School theater department performs "Fractured Fairy Tales" in the school auditorium. The play includes three versions of classic fairy tales that have been adapted for a high school or adult audience.

"Puff," written by sophomore Jake Rosendale, is an adaptation of "Three Little Pigs." "Prince Seeking Love," written by sophomore Lysa Valora, is an adaptation of "The Frog Prince." And "How Princess Sassafras Got Her Groove Back," written by Salberg, is an adaptation of "The Princess and the Pea." Rosendale is assisting Salberg in directing the short plays.

Salberg came up with the idea to adapt classic stories in late November, and the students wrote their pieces before the end of winter break, she said. The cast has been rehearsing the play after school every day for the past two and a half months. Salberg's theater students worked with the school art department to design and build sets for the play.

Salberg said she's enjoyed watching her students experience the acting, producing and directing aspects of a theater production. In addition to the students in her drama classes, Salberg recruited students she thought might enjoy performing.

"There are a lot of kids in this play that have never been in theater - maybe they were when they were younger but not in high school," she said. "I approached some kids that I just thought had natural talent for it and loved to be the center of attention : and I said, 'You guys probably need to be on stage.'"

The cast members have adapted well to each new challenge, Salberg said.

"Some of these juniors who have never done theater before, I think they've found that maybe this is something they should be doing," she said.

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