News @ Minnesota State University Moorhead

A fairytale with a twist–MSUM Children’s Theater at it again

Posted on November 15, 2012

Rapunzel and Her Dragon

After the show members of the cast talk with elemetary student attendees.

Published: The Advocate
November 12, 2012


“Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair,” is a line we’re all familiar with, but what about “Rapunzel, Rapunzel, jump on my back?”

David Wheeler, a professor in the theater arts department, adapted the child’s tale “Rapunzel,” for the MSUM Children’s Theater – “Rapunzel and Her Dragon.”

The charming story features two casts, red and blue.  It bares many similarities to the classic tale but implements the use of new characters and a modified story line.

The play is the story of Rapunzel, played by Solveig Swanson of the red cast, a junior musical theater major, and her rabbit friend, played by Laura Berger of the red cast, a freshman theater arts major. The two are running around playing and laughing when they stumble upon a hungry, injured Dragon.

After feeding vegetables to the Dragon, played by Nikko Raymo of the red cast, a senior theater arts major, and fixing his broken wing, Rapunzel, the rabbit and the dragon quickly become a tight-knit trio.

One of the biggest laughs from the crowd came when Rapunzel suggests they play a game of duck, duck goose. Confused, the dragon asked “what is a duck?” to which the rabbit replies “a little goose.” Still perplexed, the dragon asks “what’s a goose?” After pondering for a moment the rabbit proclaims, “it’s a big duck!”

As Rapunzel, the rabbit and the dragon continue to play, things take a turn for the worst and the evil witch next door kidnaps Rapunzel.

The entire cast teams up to try and rescue Rapunzel, but at last her new friend, the dragon, comes to the rescue and relinquishes the evil witch’s powers for good.

After the show, the cast met the students outside the theater to talk about the show. Many youngsters shouted “I liked when the bunnies chased the wolves,” and “when the dragon blew fire.”

Not only was the show a hit with the young ones, but the actors and actresses love being involved with children’s theater.

“It’s over the top,” James Stenger, who played Rapunzel’s father in the red cast, said. “You never know what to expect, every audience is different.”

The MSUM Children’s Theater has been a part of the Theater Arts Department since it was created 50 years ago and it continues to be popular with faculty, performers and student attendees alike.

“I love the opportunity to have an audience that’s going to be really engaged in the show and actors,” Wheeler said.

“Rapunzel and Her Dragon” marks the seventh play that Wheeler has written for the MSUM Children’s Theater.

“It’s also an opportunity to work on a simple, thematic lesson,” he said.

The moral of the play is to accept people for who they are, even if who they are is a little bit different.

Ninety-one schools will participate and bring over 8,000  6- to 8-year-olds to see the play. There will be 15 shows for the elementary schools to attend, along with two performances open to the public at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. on Nov. 17 in Hansen Theater.


Published: The Advocate
November 12, 2012


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