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Write Out Loud Presents ‘Fractured Fairy Tales’

Show compliments Cygnet Theatre’s ‘Shockheaded Peter’

Photo caption: David Fenner rehearsing his "Tale of Diminutive Swine" as part of Write Out L...

Photo by Kris Arciaga

David Fenner rehearsing his "Tale of Diminutive Swine" as part of Write Out Loud's "Fractured Fairy Tales," at Bayfront Charter High School, May 12, 2017.

Write Out Loud Presents 'Fractured Fairy Tales'


Veronica Murphy, Write Out Loud Artistic Director

Beth Accomando, KPBS Arts Reporter


Write Out Loud regularly performs at Cygnet Theatre and on Tuesday it will present “Fractured Fairy Tales,” a piece designed to compliment Cygnet’s current production “Shockheaded Peter,” which is a collection of stories about naughty children and misguided parents.

Write Out Loud was founded by San Diego actors Veronica Murphy and Walter Ritter to deliver a unique entertainment experience by reading short stories and poems aloud to a live audience.

Murphy, who serves as artistic director, said “think of it as coming to a musical concert and instead of musicians coming to the stage, performers come to the stage. It’s a live theatrical performance, it just isn’t a play.”

But “Fractured Fairy Tales” was created as a companion piece to Cygnet Theatre’s play. For people who grew up in the 1960s, the title “Fractured Fairy Tales” will conjure up memories of the wacky segments on “The Rocky and Bullwinkle Show” where classic fairy tales got a clever twist.

So, while Write Out Loud’s “Fractured Fairy Tales” are not taken directly from that old kids’ TV cartoon show, it is of a kindred spirit.

Murphy said since “Shockheaded Peter” deals with some grisly tales of childhood, Write Out Loud was looking for stories that might either deal with the death of children or twisted takes on classic fairy tales.

Photo caption: Edward Gorey's alphabet poem "The Gashlycrumb Tinies" will be performed as pa...

Photo credit: Edward Gorey/Harcourt Brace

Edward Gorey's alphabet poem "The Gashlycrumb Tinies" will be performed as part of Write Out Loud's "Fractured Fairy Tales."

Edward Gorey’s “The Gashlycrumb Tinies” is one of the pieces being performed and it is an ABC poem about the demise of children with each letter representing a different child and his or her peculiar fate. There will also be Roald Dahl’s revisionist take on “Snow White and the Seven Dwarves” and Kelly Link’s “The Faery Handbag” about a grandmother who keeps an entire community from Eastern Europe living inside her handbag.

The performance style of Write Out Loud seems especially fitting for “Fractured Fairy Tales” because it reminds of having a bedtime story read to us as a child. Murphy pointed out that many of us were read to as children “but as adults, we rarely have the opportunity to sit back and listen to a story read to us aloud.”

At performances, she said, “People often sit and close their eyes and listen and the audience has to bring all the imagery that the reader is explaining, they have to make that come to life for themselves. So the reader’s ability and finesse at creating all of that is very important in order for the audience to have that sort of experience where you are imagining what you are reading to them.”

In addition to Murphy and Ritter, performers include Rachel Esther Tate, David Fenner and Linda Libby, with music by Mark Danisovszky

Write Out Loud presents “Fractured Fairy Tales” at 7 p.m., May 30, at Cygnet Theatre in Old Town San Diego. “Shockheaded Peter” runs through June 18 at Cygnet Theatre.

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