Take a look at the program from the show here.

Watch the show below or see it in full HD at the Words Players SmugMug site.


All plays written by Columcille Driscoll. All paintings by James C. Christensen. Brought to life by The Minnesota SkyVault Theatre Company.

(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.


Briar Rose

Painting - Music of Heaven

PLAYWRIGHT'S NOTE

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.

THE CHARACTERS

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 SETTING

The deep castle of the Princess’s father.


A Story Once Told

Painting - Garden Rendezvous

THE CHARACTERS

Briar Rosa, the princess - Kristen Wetenkamp


THE SETTING

The ancient garden of the Castle.


The Lady of Shallot

Painting - The Bride

PLAYWRIGHT'S NOTE

And she makes the journey to her wedding, along with her mother and sisters.

THE CHARACTERS

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 SETTING

The river on its way to the Castle.


Desire of Seclusion

Painting - Betrothal

PLAYWRIGHT'S NOTE

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 CHARACTERS

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 SETTING

The mighty castle-moats.


The Nest Hidden

Painting - The Nest

PLAYWRIGHT'S NOTE

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 CHARACTERS

The Baron - Abigail Slater
Briar Rose, grown old - Kristen Wetenkamp

THE SETTING

The swamps near the ruined gardens.


Progression of Faith

Painting - Passage by Faith

PLAYWRIGHT'S NOTE

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 CHARACTERS

The Belover - Jonathan Muroya
A Fish - Abigail Kuhlmann

THE SETTING

Ruins.


Departure

Painting title unknown

PLAYWRIGHT'S NOTE

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 CHARACTERS

The Owl - Rebekah Novinger

A Fish - Abigail Kuhlmann
The Departing Briar Rose - Kristen Wetenkamp

THE SETTING

The Castle.


The Wooer

Painting - Courtship

PLAYWRIGHT'S NOTE

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 . . .  

THE CHARACTERS

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

THE SETTING

The Castle.


Part No. 9

Painting - Candle at the Quay

PLAYWRIGHT'S NOTE

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.

THE CHARACTERS

A Bird - Abigail Slater
A Frog - Rebekah Novinger
A Lonely Princess in Exile - Kristen Wetenkamp

THE SETTING

A cottage on the river.


Cicero

Painting - Sharing Our Light

PLAYWRIGHT'S NOTE

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 CHARACTERS

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


Montrotello

Painting - Serenade for an Orange Cat

PLAYWRIGHT'S NOTE

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 CHARACTERS

The Cat - Abbigail Slater
Montrotello - Zechary Novinger

THE SETTING

An Italian Court.


Final Ending

Painting title unknown

PLAYWRIGHT'S NOTE

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 CHARACTERS

The Girl - Kristen Wetenkamp
Her Fish Friend - Abigail Kuhlmann

THE SETTING

Mushrooms through the air.


Belforiano

Painting - Piscatorial Percussionist

PLAYWRIGHT'S NOTE

And, lastly, another Musician, one from the background, unknown, unsung and, to some, uninteresting. 

THE CHARACTERS

The Musician - Noah Pearson

THE SETTING

A stage.


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.

 

About SkyVault

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.

 

Tech Crew:

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: