Things to Do in Fort Wayne and Beyond


Christopher J. Murphy

Whatzup Features Writer

Published May 16, 2019

Heads Up! This article is 3 years old.

Everyone knows Rapunzel. Long blonde hair…raised by a witch…in a tower. She was probably in your book of bedtime stories as a kid. Maybe you remember her from the musical Into the Woods or watched ABC’s Once Upon a Time. Girls a certain age love Disney’s Tangled. (Or maybe you’re just a salad fiend who loves the leafy green plant from which our heroine takes her name!)

The point is, Rapunzel, like most fairy tales, has been a part of our childhoods and culture since before the Brothers Grimm included her in their 19th century collection of folk tales. The Fort Wayne Youtheatre, however, invites you to see the princess like you’ve never seen her before with The Commedia Rapunzel.

Since 1934, Youtheatre has brought nearly every fairy tale imaginable to life on stage, but as we looked to close our 2018-19 season with the princess of the long golden curls, we wanted to do so in a way that would be fresh and fun for performers and audience alike.

As audiences enter this production, they’ll find themselves facing an old Italian piazza where a traveling commedia dell’arte troupe is preparing to give their performance of Rapunzel.

(Commedia, FYI, is a comedic theatrical form popularized in 16th century Italy that relies heavily on stock characters and gags. Sound old-fashioned and boring? Nope! Every sitcom and cartoon you love is basically a commedia show. The Marx Brothers, Sesame Street’s Mr. Noodle, The Simpson’s Mr. Burns: all commedia characters! But back to Rapunzel… .)

This play-within-a-play features the evil witches, dashing princes, and fearsome ogres you’ve come to expect, plus tons ridiculous silliness and backstage hijinks. In short, it’s Youtheatre meets Bugs Bunny meets Monty Python meets Rapunzel! (And if that description doesn’t make you want to buy a ticket, I don’t know what will!)

Our cast of 21 young actors will use masks, live sound effects, giant puppets, and every other trick at their disposal to breathe hilarious new life into this classic tale. So, let down your hair (so to speak) and join the fun as we close our 84th season.

Plus, you’ll get the first full look at our upcoming 85th, featuring all new classes and camps, exciting collaborations (Matilda with the Fort Wayne Civic Theatre), the area premiere of Disney’s Frozen Jr. for the holidays, and much more! Get your tickets today and put you in Youtheatre!

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