Tanglewood Tales

In his collection of stories, TANGLEWOOD TALES, Nathaniel Hawthorne took some legends of ancient Greece and retold them in his own way. Writing about his approach to these stories, Hawthorne says that his narrator, Eustace Bright, "has a free way of handling them." In this dramatization we have done the same with three of these tales, giving them a contemporary spin and adding music.

As in Hawthorne, the stories come out of the young people's conflicts, questions, characters. They all deal, in one way or another, with youthful rebellion, the testing of limits, and the lure and danger of taking risks as you mature and make your own way in the world.

The age range of the young actors can be anywhere from teenagers/young adults all the way down to seven- or eight-year olds. But, for the most part, the preferable age would be 14 and up.

In PANDORA, the tale that frames the whole action, the issue is curiosity about the forbidden, the different ways in which the sexes deal with their urge to explore the world, even when authority tells them they're not ready.

In CERES AND PROSERPINA the theme is the bond between mother and daughter, the lure of growing up battling with the desire to stay a child.

In the third story, GORGONS, a youth has to take on the role of an adult, while still at heart an innocent boy, and in so doing redefines the notion of what it means to be a hero.

Between each story, the action returns to a contemporary setting, where the young people can hash out the implications of these stories from their different points of view - and these sections, though written, could be amplified through improvisation.

The catalyst in all these tales is a character called Quicksilver - hip, fast-talking, street-smart, the messenger of the Olympian gods, a spirit with plenty of attitude, the irreverent energizer of the young people's quests.

Songs composed by Richasd Peaslee

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