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Archive for Thursday, April 22, 1999

SEEM-TO-BE PLAYERS STAGE GERMAN TALES

April 22, 1999

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"Hansel and Gretel" is a traditional children's play, while "Hans in Luck" is just plain silly.

If you've forgotten the story of Hansel and Gretel, the Seem-To-Be Players are here to refresh your memory.

"Hansel and Gretel," a classic Grimm's fairy tale adapted by Lawrence playwright Ric Averill, and "Hans in Luck," another German tale, will be performed Saturday and Sunday at the Lawrence Arts Center.

"Hansel and Gretel" is about two children whose wicked stepmother convinces their father to leave them in the woods. The children are able to retrace the route home by following a trail of pebbles. When left again in the woods, however, their trail of bread crumbs is eaten by a bird.

The children wander through the woods until they come upon a candy house inhabited by a witch. The witch places Hansel in a cage, where he will wait until he's fat enough for her to eat. In the meantime, Hansel manipulates the witch into getting too close to the oven, causing her to burn.

When the children return home, they discover their stepmother has disappeared in a puff of smoke.

Jennifer Glenn, the director of "Hansel and Gretel" and an actress who plays the witch-stepmother, said the play is a

See Seem-To-Be, page 9

coming-of-age story because Gretel challenges and defeats her evil stepmother.

Glenn also said she understands how some parents might balk at the story line because it pits children against their parents.

"You can't fix it and make it politically correct because it's about the rites of passage and the lessons learned from them," she said. "Growing up is a brutal process."

Other "Hansel and Gretel" cast members are Andrew McKee as Hansel, Amanda Gordon as Gretel, Emma Hoyle as The Bird and Chris Johnson as the father. McKee, Gordon and Hoyle are students in the Seem-To-Be Players' education program.

Because there are children in the cast, Glenn said rehearsals were held in the early evenings and not as frequently as for an adult cast.

"We've been doing two to three hours for four weeks, and not every night," she said. "It's over a longer period of time and not so often."

"Hans in Luck" is about a man who starts with a sack of gold and ends with nothing by the play's end. Silas Hoover plays Hans, with Glenn, McKee, Gordon and Hoyle portraying different animals.

"'Hansel and Gretel' is very traditional," Glenn said. "And 'Hans in Luck' is very silly."

-- Jan Biles' phone message number is 832-7146. Her e-mail address is jbiles@ljworld.com.



FAIRY-TALE THEATER

What: "Hansel and Gretel" and "Hans in Luck," a pair of plays by the Seem-To-Be Players that are appropriate for children ages 4 and older.

When: 10:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. Saturday and 1:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. Sunday.

Where: Lawrence Arts Center, 200 W. Ninth.

Tickets: Available at the arts center or at the door.

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