(Click on the thumbnail of each painting to see a larger image.)
Playwright's introductory note:
These plays loosely tell bits and pieces of a story concerning a gloomy Princess, her betrothal to a powerful Baron, her marriage and her escape, for a time, from the pressures of life. The stories represent some variation in perspective throughout and are not necessarily presented in a strict chronological order.
Bearing that cheerily in mind, we shall proceed.
Painting - Music of Heaven
Castles stand on the horizons all around. The scene is the front entrance to the central castle of a certain fairy-tale kingdom—somewhere in Italy or France or Germany or somewhere else, late in the Medieval period or the Renaissance or the Enlightenment or some other time. A certain young Princess lives in this castle. And she is loved by a certain young man from afar. And so begins the dance.
A Lute-Player in Red - Zechary Novinger
Two Fiddlers in Blue - Aidan Driscoll and Ashley Harding
Flecio - Jonathan Muroya
Carpentara Calpaccio - Noah Pearson
Two Women - Abby Slater and Abby Kuhlmann
A Jester - Rebekah Novinger
A Young Nobleman with a Green Tunic - Michaela Schultz
Snorting Youngster in a Noble’s Garb - Molly Kiley
A Vulgar Gentlewoman
The Princess Maria Rosa - Kristen Wetenkamp
The deep castle of the Princess’s father.
A Story Once Told
Painting - Garden Rendezvous
Briar Rosa, the princess - Kristen Wetenkamp
The ancient garden of the Castle.
The Lady of Shallot
Painting - The Bride
And she makes the journey to her wedding, along with her mother and sisters.
Rosa - Kristen Wetenkamp
The Oarsman - Zechary Novinger
Acantha - Abigail Kuhlmann
Andrea - Abigail Slater
Elvina - Jonathan Muroya
Maude - Michaela Schultz
A River-Gnome - Rebekah Novinger
A Green Fish - Noah Pearson
The river on its way to the Castle.
Desire of Seclusion
Painting - Betrothal
The Royal Family, weary from the nuptial festivities, begins its quiet retreat through the rivers and swamps toward some quiet, secluded castle or other where they might be away, for a time, from the prying eyes and ears and tongues of interested Peasantry and the Lesser Nobility.
The Unicorn - Jonathan Muroya
The King - Zechary Novinger
Accompanying Fish - Noah Pearson and Abigail Kuhlmann
The Queen-Mother - Michaela Schultz
Briar Rose - Kristen Wetenkamp
The Baron - Abigail Slater
And a Rabbit Beneath an Orange-Tree - Rebekah Novinger
The mighty castle-moats.
The Nest Hidden
Painting - The Nest
After parting with the rest of the Royal Family, the Baron and his new bride embark on their own little journey further still into the forest. The Princess wishes nothing more than to be dead now that her life feels over—and not even a battle fought for her hand! The Baron, as understanding as a Nobleman can be, devises some faint cunning to give her some freedom from Royalty . . .
The Baron - Abigail Slater
Briar Rose, grown old - Kristen Wetenkamp
The swamps near the ruined gardens.
Progression of Faith
Painting - Passage by Faith
The sad Flecio has begun a tired, aimless, mournful traversion of the river, wailing out a pathetic, unpoem of unsurpassèd beloving of another’s now-betrothèd maiden. As befits the life of a mourning lover, Flecio has only his broken heart for company until one of the river’s curious fishes emerges and bids him make one last cry—not a cry for love but perhaps for pity. He restores the desire in Flecio to halloo her name to the reverberate hills and make the babbling gossip of the air cry out “Briar Rose!”
The Belover - Jonathan Muroya
A Fish - Abigail Kuhlmann
Painting title unknown
The Princess Briar Rose, married to the slightly standoffish but sympathetic Baron, has left behind her all human life—for a time. She has retreated deep into the forested marshes between the kingdoms of her father and of her new family. They call it a Mystical Retreat on which she goes: off to some riverside cottage or other where she might have loneliness and plenty of it.
The Owl - Rebekah Novinger
A Fish - Abigail Kuhlmann
The Departing Briar Rose - Kristen Wetenkamp
Painting - Courtship
The persistent young would-be suitor to the Princess’s hand has made his way to one of the Royal Family’s smaller riverside castles. For the purposes of his pleading suit, he has availed himself of a certain musician to underscore his declamations of love . . .
An Owl-Cat - Abigail Slater
The Wooer - Jonathan Muroya
The Strummer - Noah Pearson
The Glowing Fish - Abigail Kuhlmann
The Queen - Michaela Schultz
The Queen’s Father - Zechary Novinger
The Stork - Rebekah Novinger
Part No. 9
Painting - Candle at the Quay
A news-bearing Bird alights on the house wherein has come to rest the Princess. For a time she has dwelled in a cottage on the riverside, alone save for a Frog who admires her greatly. However, the Princess has lost her need for solitude and supposes that it’s now time for her to return to her own kind, her own species.
A Bird - Abigail Slater
A Frog - Rebekah Novinger
A Lonely Princess in Exile - Kristen Wetenkamp
A cottage on the river.
Painting - Sharing Our Light
Retreating perhaps a few months, before the Royal Wedding, here lies a simple portrait of a Royal Family sitting in state, entertained by the traditionally wise court jester, replete with many brands of innuendo and hidden insult.
The Fool - Rebekah Novinger
On Tableau, Clock-fashion:
Queen Mona - Michaela Schultz
Elroy, the Queen’s brother - Molly Kiley
Otis, the Queen’s stepfather - Zechary Novinger
Beau, the Queen’s young cousin - Aidan Driscoll
Clarice, the Queen’s maiden sister - Abigail Slater
Kineta, the Queen’s adopted niece - Abigail Kuhlmann
Clarius, the Queen’s suitor - Noah Pearson
Princess Maria, the Queen’s daughter-in-law - Kristen Wetenkamp
Prince Lucius, the Queen’s son - Jonathan Muroya
Sidra, the Queen’s maid - Ashley Harding
Painting - Serenade for an Orange Cat
A short play told in half-rhyming couplets. We meet again the Musician who aided the suffering Flecio, this time accompanied by a Cat Lawyer, readying himself to stand trial for a very heinous crime indeed . . .
The Cat - Abbigail Slater
Montrotello - Zechary Novinger
An Italian Court.
Painting title unknown
And the ever-mourning Princess has now escaped to something other than the life of a recluse, to perhaps a different sphere of life, up and elsewhere.
The Girl - Kristen Wetenkamp
Her Fish Friend - Abigail Kuhlmann
Mushrooms through the air.
Painting - Piscatorial Percussionist
And, lastly, another Musician, one from the background, unknown, unsung and, to some, uninteresting.
The Musician - Noah Pearson
Voiceover - Christopher Slater
About the Playwright
Columcille Driscoll is a 23 year old author from Chatfield, Minnesota, and an active member of Words Players Theatre for 10 years. He has written many stage plays, screenplays, and novels - in fact, he has written a play to correspond with almost all of James Christensen’s fantasy paintings, not just the 13 we are performing for A Story Once Told! You can watch two different versions of his play The Two Roads based on the painting Twilight here:
Version 1 : http://wordsplayers.smugmug.com/Shows/One-Act-Plays-Oct-2011/2011-10-29-One-Act-Plays-Video/i-Q34kpH8/A
Version 2: http://wordsplayers.smugmug.com/Shows/One-Act-Plays-Oct-2011/2011-10-29-One-Act-Plays-Video/i-8LJHD5Z/A
About the Artist
James C. Christensen of Orem, Utah, is a popular American artist of religious and fantasy art and formerly an instructor at Brigham Young University. Christensen says his inspirations are myths, fables, fantasies, and tales of imagination. Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/James_C._Christensen
About the Director
Daved Driscoll is the founder of and Artistic Director for Words Players Theatre and The Minnesota SkyVault Theatre Company. He has been teaching young people for his whole career and has a background in literature, history, writing, and theatre. Daved has a passion for the mission of Words Players and SkyVault: to celebrate the essential role of stories in our lives by providing opportunities in the theatrical, literary and musical arts and by supporting a community of hands-on participation in and conversation about those stories.
The Minnesota SkyVault Theatre Company, a subsidiary of Words Players Theatre, is a troupe comprised of our most seasoned and capable actors. They will take "theatre outside the theatre" and provide fresh sources of revenue the help sustain the rest of the organization. This is a semi-professional troupe that exists to also provide an opportunity for youth to gain advanced acting experience as they become high school age.
Forward Projector Technician - Caleb Wetenkamp
Rear Projector Technician - Clare Speltz
Set Design - Daved Driscoll, Michaela Schultz, Clare Speltz
Sound - Clare Speltz
Lights - Katelyn Slater
Post-Performance Discussion with the cast, director, and playwright: