IndyFringe and The Royal Panto Players’ co-production of Julie Lyn Barber’s new holiday panto, “THE ELVES & THE SHOEMAKER” has been selected for the inaugural production of the Family Series At Indy Fringe Matinee Series. The performances will be at The Indy Eleven Theatre at IndyFringe, 719 E. St. Clair in downtown Indianapolis at 10:00am on Saturdays, November 28, December 5, 12, 19 & 26 and at 1:00pm on Sunday, December 27, Monday, December 28, Tuesday, December 29, Wednesday, December 30 and Thursday, December 31. Tickets and information are available at www.indyfringe.org and 317-522-8099. More information about the show can be found at www.facebook.com/RoyalPanto and www.mainstartists.com.
THE ELVES AND THE SHOEMAKER is a one-hour children’s play based on the story by the Brothers Grimm. Professional local actors team up with shadow puppets to tell the Christmastime story of the kind Shoemaker and his Wife whose difficult life is made easier by some mysterious helpers who make shoes in the night. True to the panto style, there is a Good Fairy who keeps the audience informed and involved, a bad guy who is trying to interfere with the hero’s happiness, and a comedy duo who keep everyone’s spirits light. Of course, by Christmas Day, good triumphs over evil with help from the audience and a little magic, and everyone learns a lesson in charity. The production combines an old-world family tradition with a modern twist of Fringe and is suitable for all ages for the Family Series At Indy Fringe.
The Royal Panto Players breathe new life into tried-and-true tales by presenting them in the enduringly popular, traditional British comedic style known as “panto” which features broad comedy, audience interaction and familiar characters to engage audiences of all ages. Characters include The Dame: a comic, larger-than-life character played by a man; The Principal Boy: the romantic male lead and a ‘breeches part’ played by a woman; and The Villain who is always very mean and nasty and must be booed and hissed by the audience at every opportunity. Pantos are family shows but there are plenty of contemporary references, bawdy jokes and innuendo of the nudge-nudge wink-wink variety to keep the grownups laughing along. The panto is a holiday and family tradition in Britain, Canada and Australia.
The play is directed by Julie Lyn Barber and stars Craig Underwood as the Dame, John Vessels as the Villain, Carrie Morgan as the Shoemaker, and Katherine Ruegger as the Fairy. The production is also available for touring and is already scheduled to perform at The Pike Center for the Performing Arts in April, 2016.
THE ELVES & THE SHOEMAKER is written by Dr. Julie Lyn Barber, an Indiana-based playwright and Assistant Professor of Musical Theatre at Western Kentucky University. In 2012, Dr. Barber was awarded an Individual Artist Grant by the Indiana Arts Commission for “The Panto Project” where THE ELVES & THE SHOEMAKER was written and developed. Dr. Barber’s pantos and other plays have been produced at many venues including The Minnetrista Cultural Center’s “Faeries Sprites and Lights Festival,” Q Artistry, Muncie Civic Theatre, IndyFringe and DivaFest.
TheRoyal Panto Players is a division of Main Street Artist, an arts and entertainment production company based in Parker City, IN. In addition to theatrical productions, Main Street Artists also offers musical acts ranging from classical to jazz to roots and bluegrass for concerts, festivals and events throughout the region as well as workshops and educational outreach music and arts programming.