Things to Do in Fort Wayne and Beyond

Production so fun it gets second run


Lauren Nichols

Whatzup Features Writer

Published April 20, 2022

The goblins under the mountain are tunneling toward the castle! Princess Irene is in danger! Will her mysterious great-great-grandmother be able to help her? Or can the heroic young miner, Curdie, foil the goblin plan?

Many found out when all for One productions presented George MacDonald’s The Princess and the Goblin at the PPG ArtsLab April 22-May 1.

This delightful show was appropriate for the entire family and will include dance and puppetry and lots of humor.

all for One productions has produced more than 60 full-length stage plays in Fort Wayne the past 20 years. But only a handful have compelled us to produce them a second time. The Princess and the Goblin is such a show. Originally staged in the somewhat limited space in the downtown Allen County Public Library auditorium, this is a play which practically begged to be done again in our intimate, flexible black box venue, the PPG ArtsLab.

George MacDonald, a 19th century Scottish pastor and writer, penned this beloved children’s fantasy novel in 1872. Our adaptation, written by Sandra Fenichel Asher, is a clever and flexible version, which she suggests can be expanded to include dance and puppetry. We did add both these elements to our 2014 version and are now excited to have included even more.

We are once again partnering with Kinetic Revelation Academy of Dance & the Arts, whose director, Kimberly Bronson, is choreographing several dances and pantomime sequences. Four dancers from her advanced classes will be among the goblins and living “doors” featured in the play. Additionally, local dancer Allison Cwanek, who serves as dance captain for the production, will create another new character, the Dove, who also dances several times.

But that isn’t the full extent of the collaborations we’re enjoying with local, and mostly young, artists:  Lucas Bowman, a talented teenaged craftsman, is designing and constructing several oversized hand puppets to be the goblins’ “creatures”; two local composers have been commissioned to write original music; Torilinn Cwanek, whose incidental music has been heard in four previous afO shows, has created themes for the princess, her mysterious grandmother, and the little goblins; Scott Kump, another longtime afO composer, has concocted a track of layered sampled sounds and percussion for the goblin dancers and their epic battle, which he has designed and choreographed. On top of that, Scott is reprising his 2014 role as the Goblin King!

Colorful, imaginative costuming is being designed and created expressly for our production by lead costumer Mary Swerens, ably assisted by Joyce Klaus. Our two leads, playing Curdie and the princess, are Isaiah Powers and Melanie Klaus, both 14-year-old home-schoolers.

Also featured in the cast are adult actors Dotty Miller (the great-great-grandmother), Abbey Pfenning (Lootie), Leena Edgar (goblin queen), Zachariah Littleford (goblin prince), and Dennis Nichols (Sir Walter).

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