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Tales from the Brothers Grimm represents an attempt both to dramatize five of the tales from the Brothers' collection and to do so in a historical context. In this manner, some background is provided to illuminate the Brothers themselves as well as the process through which they went to obtain their tales and the varied sources from which they collected them.
The five dramatized stories, in sequence of presentation, are "The Bremen Town Musicians," "Hans in Luck," "The Fisherman and His Wife," "The Elves and the Shoemaker," and "The Golden Goose." Two of the stories, "Hans in Luck" and "The Elves and the Shoemaker," allow for some participation from children in the audience.
In the original production, eighteen actors were used: nine men and nine women. With the exception of the two actors who portrayed Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm, all actors played multiple roles. A larger cast may be used, of course, by eliminating some or all of the multiple casting.
The original production was performed in a large, open room. "We used a horseshoe-shaped setting with children seated on the floor around the perimeter of the semi-circular playing space. The Brothers' permanently set desk and work area was off to one side," the author said.
Although an attempt was made at historical accuracy, the only characters to suggest a German dialect were the two brothers and the two additional storytellers, Otto Runge and Frau Viehmann. In the tales, no dialect was used by any character.
Playing time is about 10 to 15 minutes for each tale, or 60 minutes for all presented together.
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