If your concept of a fairy tale is based on Disney versions like The Little Mermaid or Beauty and the Beast, playwright Mary Zimmerman’s adaptation of a number of fantastic stories that help form the play The Secret in the Wings may surprise you.
Zimmerman’s play contains so many unsettling ideas and events that it stays unnervingly in your memories long after you leave the theater.
Known as an adapter/director, Zimmerman draws from a group of lesser-known fairy tales to create a theatrical work that sets their dark mystery against her signature wit and humor.
The story concerns a child and the frightening babysitter with whom her parents leave her. As the babysitter reads from a book, the characters in each of the tales materialize, with each tale breaking off just at its bleakest moment before giving way to the next one. The dozen or so fairy tales are told through dialogue, direct address to the audience, songs, and the almost-choreographed physical style that is a Zimmerman hallmark.
Presented by the students and faculty of the Purdue University-Fort Wayne Department of Theatre, the play takes place inside Studio Theatre in Kettler Hall on the PFW campus Dec. 7 and 8.