Providence Players opens a Family Friendly Comic Twist on A Classic Tale: Snow White and the Family Dwarf
This weekend through the 20th of December, the Providence Players will be presenting a cheeky twist on the classic fairytale Snow White. It has been said no amount of movie magic can replicate the experience of watching the classic Snow White live on stage. Now take that enchanting play and its journey into a storybook world and add a solid dose of comic twists, tongue-in cheek dialog, and magical moments and you have Greg Palmer‘s Snow White and the Family Dwarf.
This family friendly romp captures the warmth of the classic and adds much more. The Dwarfs are a close knit family of sisters and brothers whose last name happens to be Dwarf. Snow’s arrival is a surprise, but quickly the family jumps to her aid. As the Queen obsesses over physical beauty taunted by her magical mirror and the Prince searches for the perfect bride, the Dwarf family demonstrates that real beauty is in caring for each other.
Blake Gouhari as the shallow Prince with Rachel Yeager as Snow White in the Providence Players production of Snow White and the Family Dwarf, Photo by Chip Gertzog, Providence Players
The Providence Players’ Snow White and the Family Dwarf plays through December 20, 2015 ar The Provedence Players performing at the James Lee Community Center Theater – 2855 Annandale Road, in Falls Church VA 22042
Performance Dates and Times
Thurs., Fri., and Saturday 7:30 p.m., December 11, 12, 17, 18, & 19
Saturday & Sunday Matinees 2:00 p.m., December 12, 13, 19, & 20
Tickets: General Admission Seating – $17
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The award-winning Providence Players of Fairfax present this humorous and heart-warming tale, perfect for audiences of all ages, as a fund raiser for the The Young Hearts Foundation working to improve the lives of young people affected by long-term illness. Over the past three years, PPF and the Young Hearts have collaborated during the holiday season to raise more than $24,000 to support the Young Hearts’ mission.
The play features 16 performers five of whom are making their PPF debut in this production. Snow White and the Family Dwarf is directed by PPF stalwart Beth Whitehead who has a unique connection to Greg Palmer’s comic fairytale variant.
Beth, tell us about your connection with Snow White and the Family Dwarf.
“In 1986 the Seattle Children’s Theatre, under the artistic direction of Linda Hartzel commissioned Greg Palmer to write a fresh take on the familiar fairytale Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. In Mr. Palmer’s version, the Dwarf family has 4 boys and 3 girls: Walt, Rose, Howie, Jean Louise, Elliott, Roy and Peg, the youngest who has an intellectual disability. At the time, my husband David Whitehead and I were working professionally with the Seattle Children’s Theatre but not directly on this stage production. Greg Palmer then raised money to make it into a TV movie, David was cast as Elliott. The movie was a blast and ever since then I have always thought it would be a delightful holiday show.
Fast forward nearly 30 years, David is playing another member of the Dwarf family, Roy (yes, one of the many comic jabs at the famed Disney franchise) and is co-producing the show. More importantly, it is our chance to bring this version to area audiences. PPF wanted to offer a family theatrical event that wasn’t necessarily a holiday or Christmas themed show. Everyone will enjoy the “magic” mirrors, the queen with all her narcissistic tendencies and disguises, the family Dwarf with their quirky behaviors and very small furniture, the shallow Prince and much more.”
Beth, from your point of view, what is the big “takeaway” you hope that audiences will get from this production?
“The family is the center of happiness in this story. Whether it’s your birth family, the family you choose or the family that chooses you, you can find happiness. I would like audiences to leave feeling a sweetness in their hearts about their families and the people they love. And also, not to spend time on the shallow, self-centered, narcissistic things that leave you lonely and alone. No one is perfect and that’s what makes us all human and even more beautiful. It’s a good thing to remind us all especially during the holidays.”
Why should theatergoers want to see this show?
“Quite simply, it is fun, funny and touching. Snow White and the Family Dwarf is for all ages. If you want to attend a holiday event with no bad language, lots of silliness, cool costumes, magic, good and mean characters, a good cause to support and not break the bank, this is the show. It is a heartfelt, entertaining piece of theatre and only runs one and a half hours. Sometimes seeing A Christmas Carol, or a Christmas based show can get old each year. With Snow White you also get a chance to help raise money for Young Hearts, an organization of young people serving other young people with facing long-term illnesses.”
Charlene Sloan plays the evil queen/step mother to Snow White. What attracted you to the show Charlene?
“When I read the script I loved the re-shaping of the classic Snow White story. The script takes a story we all know and tells it in a new, fresh way that entertains and keeps you on your toes. That’s really a testament to the skill and creativity of the author, Greg Palmer. In terms of acting, I was really excited at the prospect of playing a villain. I’ve auditioned for villainy parts before with no success, so I really wanted the chance to experience such a challenging role. I’ve worked with PPF before, so I knew that if I was cast I would learn a lot, and would have a lot of fun. And so far all of that has come true and I think the audience will really feel and enjoy that too!”
Rachel Yeager returns for her second production on the PPF stage as Snow White. Rachel, why did you want to be part of this production?
“Beth Whitehead is a delight to work with. I jumped at the opportunity to audition for the show, hoping for a chance to get to work under her and learn from her professional experience. I also absolutely love children’s theater, so the fact that she chose “Snow White” was a big motivator. And, let’s be honest – what girl wouldn’t get excited at the chance to play a Disney princess?”
Join Rachel, Charlene and the rest of the outstanding cast beginning TONIGHT December 11-20, 2015 in the Providence Players’ Snow White and the Family Dwarf. Some great theater for a great cause.
The Cast of Snow White and the Family Dwarf
Snow White…Rachel Yeager
Blind Man…David Ranowsky
The Huntsman…Mike Holland
The Family Dwarf Walt…Bobby Welsh
Jean Louise…Amanda Ranowsky
The Prince…Blake Gouhari
Wall Mirror 1…Lauren Sullivan
Wall Mirror 2…Wynter Chatman
Wall Mirror 3...Elise Welsh
*This article was written by Chip Gertzog of The Providence Players of Fairfax.