TALES of the OLD NORTH
Tales of the Old North is a series of productions that explores folklore associated with the experience of winter, and the ability to find light and joy through the darkest days of our year. In developing the concept, we drew inspiration from other Northern cultures such as the Sankta Lucia ceremony of Sweden, and “hygge” as celebrated in Denmark found in the happiness and well-being gained when people draw together to find physical and social “warmth” during the winter months.
The narrative for the first production, East of the Sun and West of the Moon, is an adaptation of a spectacular Norwegian folktale of the same name. The show centers on the friendship between a girl and a great White Bear, who is actually a human living under a transformative curse. The journey they take together is guided by the East, West, South, and North Winds and has them meet several magical hags along the way. Ultimately, the girl and the White Bear learn that relationships with others can give us the courage to be who we really are and that finding people and places where one can live authentically is essential to one’s well-being. The production included VOX: A Choir for Social Change in the cast; VOX was a central component of Scott Jones’ Don’t BE Afraid campaign – a cause he spearheaded after a vicious homophobic attack left him paralyzed in October, 2013.
The narrative of the second production, The Three Princesses in the Blue Mountain, tells the story of a brave Soldier who sets off on a journey into a fairy land to rescue three princesses who were swept away by a snowdrift. Along the way, she must contend with devious competitors, follow a flock of fantastical birds, and battle a giant troll! This show emphasizes once again the importance of relationships and compassion, and that kindness and generosity is worth more than any wealth or riches.