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Mar 9 – 25, 2018

Adapted by Jennifer Kirkeby, Composed by Shirley Mier
A dance-inspired original performance based on the fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen.
In collaboration with Escalate Dance
Directed by Sandy Boren-Barrett & Ann Marie Omeish
Age Recommendation:  All Ages


Stages Theatre Company’s steam-punk and dance inspired retelling of the classic fairy tale by Hans Christian Andersen. Every year Mayor King holds a Festival of Progress to inspire the townspeople to invest in the quality of their town. Everyone is working on their entry, when Violet, the granddaughter of the town’s watchmaker, escapes to the forest to listen to the song of the Nightingale. The captivating song inspires Violet’s grandfather to create a mechanical bird for the Festival of Progress and soon everyone wants one for their very own. The over-produced mechanical song, however, proves to be less-than inspiring and when Mayor King becomes ill, it is his own memory of the real Nightingale’s song that facilitates his recovery. This world premiere adaptation, written by Jennifer Kirkeby and composed by Shirley Mier, is told through original music and is our 6th dance-inspired collaboration with Escalate Dance.

RUN TIME: Approximately 1 hour with no intermission



In alphabetical order.

Ellen Anderson (Watson & Owl Duet), Halle Audette (Ives & Sprite), Faith Barrett (Celia & Young Nightingale),  Anika Benz (Dash & Frog Duet),  Rylie Benz (Marigold & Baby Frog Duet), Kenna Berends (Hildegard), Georgia Blando (Rose & Baby Owl Duet), Lily Blando (Lavinia & Sprite),  Zoe Carter (Ruby), Faith Culbertson (Wolfgang), Michael Culbertson (Sterling), Athan Fischer (Bat), Jonathan Grommesh (Tour Guide & Council Member),  Ian Handeland (Hugo), Emma Highfield (Jules & Sprite), Abby Horter (Laurel & Sprite), Clare Judge (Nemo & Lamb Duet), Allie Kiewatt (Nightingale),  Kennedy Lucas (Bella & Sprite),  Matt Ouren (Mayor King), Marie Peterson (Violet), Abby Reynolds (Clare & Sprite), Eva Ronshaugen (Aster & Baby Lamb Duet),  Bruce Rowan (Edison),  Jack Sullivan (Octavius & Doctor), Zachary Sullivan (Jeter & Young Mayor), Jozie Tamarkin (Mechanical Nightingale) and Julia Foster Warder (Lyra & Sprite)


Artistic Director – Sandy Boren-Barrett
Artistic Director Escalate Dance Studio – Ann Marie Omeish
Choreographers – Ann Marie Omeish, Katie Schlosser and Anna Esposito
Stage Manager – Emilia Allen
Music Director – Sarah Hohenstein Burk
Lighting Designer – Barry Browning
Technical Director – Jim Hibbeler
Sound Designer – Gretchen Katt
Production Manager – Melanie Salmon-Peterson
Set Designer – Joe Stanley
Props Designer – Abbee Warmboe
Costume & Make Up Designer – Mary Woll



Fri 3/9 7 PM
Sat 3/10 1 PM
Sun 3/11 2 PM & 4:30 PM

Wed 3/14 10 AM
Thu 3/15 10 AM
Fri 3/16 10 AM & 7PM
Sat 3/17 10 AM & 1 PM
Sun 3/18 2 PM & 4:30 PM

Wed 3/21 10 AM
Thu 3/22 10 AM & 12:30 PM
Fri 3/23 10 AM & 7PM
Sat 3/24 10 AM & 1 PM
Sun 3/25 2 PM



In this section you will find:


  • SHOW BACKGROUND – See below

  • FAMILY GUIDE – Make the Most of Your Experience! ~ Coming Soon



HANS CHRISTIAN ANDERSENHANS CHRISTIAN ANDERSEN (FAIRY TALE AUTHOR) – Hans Christian Andersen was born in the town of Odense, Denmark, on 2 April 1805. He was the only child of Hans Andersen and Anne Marie Andersdatter. His family was poor but Andersen was sent to a local school where he received a basic education, but upon his father’s death in 1816, when Hans was only 11, he was forced to support himself as an apprentice to a weaver and later a tailor. At age 14, he moved to Copenhagen to seek employment as an actor. He was an excellent singer and was accepted into the Royal Danish Theatre. However, when his voice changed he began to concentrate on becoming a writer. The director of the Royal Danish Theatre assisted Andersen in receiving a full education, and although his schooling was difficult, Andersen published his first story, The Ghost of Palnatoke’s Grave in 1822. He found considerable success in 1829 with the short story, A Journey on Foot from Holmen’s Canal to East Point of Amager. This success was followed by the theatrical piece, Love on St. Nicholas Church Tower and a short volume of poems. From 1833-35, Andersen travelled through Europe, especially in Italy, which inspired his first novel, The Improvisatore.

After publishing his novel, Andersen turned to writing fairy tales and took the genre to a new level with his bold and original writing. In 1835, Andersen published the first two installments of his immortal Danish Fairy Tales. More stories, completing the first volume, were published in 1837. This collection includes, The Tinderbox, The Princess and the Pea, Thumbelina, The Little Mermaid and The Emperor’s New Clothes. Initially, these stories were not met with great recognition, due partly to the difficulty in translating them and capturing his genius for humor and dark pathos. His critical success continued, however, with the novels O.T and Only a Fiddler. Andersen returned to fairy tales in 1838 with another collection, Fairy Tales Told for Children, which included The Daisy, The Steadfast Tin Soldier and The Wild Swans. He continued to write and publish fairy tales until 1872.

Andersen died on August 4, 1875 at the age of seventy. At the time of his death, he was internationally revered and the Danish Government paid him an annual stipend as a “national treasure.” His fairy tales, which have been translated into more than 125 languages, have become culturally embedded in the West’s collective consciousness, appealing to both children and adults. His stories continue to be read world-wide and inspire plays, ballets and both animated and live-action films.

–(Taken in part from

Jennifer KirkebyJENNIFER KIRKEBY (PLAYWRIGHT/LYRICIST) –Jennifer Kirkeby has been involved in theatre for over 25 years as a playwright, actress, choreographer, director and teacher. She has worked with Stages Theatre Company for over a fifteen years, writing the memorable productions of Dot and Tot of Merryland, Madeline’s Christmas, The Frog Prince, Twas the Night Before Christmas, and Twelve Dancing Princesses, all published by Dramatic Publishing, as well as Harriet and Walt; The Mitten; Owl Moon; Aladdin and His Magical Lamp; The Paper Bag Princess; Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type; Giggle, Giggle Quack; Duck for President; If You Give a Moose a Muffin; Llama, Llama Red Pajama, Llama Llama Holiday Drama, Bear Snores On, The Snow Queen and last season’s The Velveteen Rabbit. Other work includes Eyes Wide Open, a touching play about a teenage girl struggling with anorexia, which continues to tour schools. Jennifer is a member of the Dramatists Guild of America, Inc., The Playwrights’ Center, and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists.

SHIRLEY MIERSHIRLEY MIER (COMPOSER) is a composer, music director and educator. She composes music of all kinds, in the theatre, concert and educational world. Theatre remains the focus of her creativity, both as a composer and music director, although she also continues to write concert and educational music for a variety of ensembles, including concert band, string quartet and piano duet. Her work includes a wide spectrum of topics—from Alexander the Great to the Three Billy Goats Gruff. This is her tenth collaboration with Jennifer Kirkeby for a world premiere musical at Stages Theatre Company. Past collaborations include Llama Llama Holiday Drama, Madeline’s Chirstmas, The Paper Bag Princess, T’was the Night Before Christmas, If You Give A Moose A Muffin and Twelve Dancing Princesses. In May 2005, Shirley completed her Ph.D. in Composition at the University of Minnesota, where she also earned her M.A. in Composition in 2002 with a minor in Theatre Arts. She earned her B.A. in Music from Grinnell College in 1988. Shortly thereafter she moved to Minneapolis to do a theatre gig, and has lived here ever since. She is currently a music instructor at Century College in White Bear Lake, MN. (Taken from

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