Serenbe Playhouse, nestled in Chattahoochee Hills, is currently showcasing an adaptation of the Hans Christian Andersen story “The Snow Queen” through Dec. 30. Whether you are a fan of Disney’s Frozen or not, you will NOT want to let go of an opportunity to miss “The Snow Queen.” It is great for both kids and adults!
As a teacher, I just love being whisked away to another world apart from my own. It is especially rewarding when it is based on one of my favorite literature stories. Now I will not go into details about Frozen because so many of us are familiar with Disney’s beloved movie of two sisters. What I would prefer to focus on is Hans Christensen Andersen’s Snow Queen because I am guessing many of you do not know this story. Andersen’s “The Snow Queen” is actually broken into seven different stories. “Which Treats of a Mirror and of the Splinters” is the first story. It is about an evil mirror that was created to distort people’s image of themselves.
“Now then, let us begin. When we are at the end of the story, we shall know more than we know now: but to begin.
Once upon a time there was a wicked sprite, indeed he was the most mischievous of all sprites. One day he was in a very good humor, for he had made a mirror with the power of causing all that was good and beautiful when it was reflected therein, to look poor and mean; but that which was good-for-nothing and looked ugly was shown magnified and increased in ugliness. In this mirror the most beautiful landscapes looked like boiled spinach, and the best persons were turned into frights, or appeared to stand on their heads; their faces were so distorted that they were not to be recognised; and if anyone had a mole, you might be sure that it would be magnified and spread over both nose and mouth.
“That’s glorious fun!” said the sprite. If a good thought passed through a man’s mind, then a grin was seen in the mirror, and the sprite laughed heartily at his clever discovery. All the little sprites who went to his school–for he kept a sprite school–told each other that a miracle had happened; and that now only, as they thought, it would be possible to see how the world really looked. They ran about with the mirror; and at last there was not a land or a person who was not represented distorted in the mirror. So then they thought they would fly up to the sky, and have a joke there. The higher they flew with the mirror, the more terribly it grinned: they could hardly hold it fast. Higher and higher still they flew, nearer and nearer to the stars, when suddenly the mirror shook so terribly with grinning, that it flew out of their hands and fell to the earth, where it was dashed in a hundred million and more pieces. And now it worked much more evil than before; for some of these pieces were hardly so large as a grain of sand, and they flew about in the wide world, and when they got into people’s eyes, there they stayed; and then people saw everything perverted, or only had an eye for that which was evil. This happened because the very smallest bit had the same power which the whole mirror had possessed. Some persons even got a splinter in their heart, and then it made one shudder, for their heart became like a lump of ice. Some of the broken pieces were so large that they were used for windowpanes, through which one could not see one’s friends. Other pieces were put in spectacles; and that was a sad affair when people put on their glasses to see well and rightly. Then the wicked sprite laughed till he almost choked, for all this tickled his fancy. The fine splinters still flew about in the air: and now we shall hear what happened next.”
You can read more of the stories here.
Serenbe Playhouse, recipient of the prestigious American Theatre Wing grant, and recently honored with the most Suzi Bass Awards for a musical in Atlanta (Miss Saigon), certainly outdoes themselves once again with The Snow Queen. Back after two sold-out seasons, this Playhouse holiday tradition is beloved by kids from one to ninety-nine. This striking adaptation where love beats cynicism, and celebrates with a snowfall, is a true crowd favorite that marks the end the year for Serenbe Playhouse.
The show originally directed by Brian Clowdus gets a 2016 restaging by Ryan Oliveti. Playhouse favorite, Jaclyn Helms (Evita, Carousel) steps into the title role in this year’s restaging. Siblings Gerda and Kai are brought to life by Brooke Bradley and Hao Feng, respectively. Rounding out the cast will be Erik Abrahamsen, Monty Davis, and JD Myers as the trouble-making trio of trolls.
From the classic Hans Christian Andersen tale that inspired FROZEN, The Snow Queen illuminates the wintry Serenbe woods with the whimsical story of love’s sovereign power over evil. Gerda overcomes her own fears on a journey to save her brother, Kai, from the Snow Queen’s powerful enchantment, before the Snow Queen’s icy spirit overtakes Kai’s heart.
“It is so exciting to bring to life the literature that inspired the mega-hit FROZEN, which helped tons of kids and adults alike to ‘Let It Go’ and embrace what makes them different!”, says restaging director, Ryan Oliveti. “It has been great fun to take a break from the stress of the world and work on a show that is all about melting a frozen heart into pure joy. This piece is a wonderful reminder that there’s nothing better than snuggling up with family, friends, and hot chocolate during the holidays!”
Running now through December 30 with choreography by Bubba Carr. The show opens on December 1 and runs to December 30, only. Performance times are Wednesdays through Fridays at 8pm, and two performances on Saturdays and Sundays, at 6pm and 8pm. Single tickets are on sale now online at www.serenbeplayhouse.com (any time); and by phone at 770-463-1110 (Box Office hours are Monday—Saturday, noon until 6pm). The Playhouse administrative offices are located at 9110 Selborne Lane, #210, Chattahoochee Hills GA, 30268. The Snow Queen will be produced at The Natural Playground in Serenbe, 10642 Serenbe Lane, Chattahoochee Hills, GA 30268.