Stages, Sights, & Sounds is an annual global performance festival for children and families that is part of Chicago Humanities Festival, a foundation which organizes an annual series of lectures, concerts, and films in Chicago. The festival’s theme this year is fairy tales, and six companies from around the world are performing classic and re-imagined versions to delight children and adults alike. The festival runs May 7–19, 2013, at various venues in Chicago.
Montreal’s uniquely charming L’Illusion Théâtre de marionnettes use tiny and whimsical puppets in this famous tale of Hansel and Gretel. Based on the original German story collected by the Brothers Grimm, À la belle étoile (Under the Stars) is a true but updated adaption where the relationship between brother and sister—by turns mischievous, competitive, loving, and brave—takes center stage.
After being left alone by their parents, Hansel and Gretel find themselves in a forest that comes alive. Original music and surprising lighting effects heighten the fears and joys of two young characters who must outsmart the tricky witch and find their way home. Employing a simple, ingenious set design and an intimate sense of scale, Under the Stars employs the fable’s original themes of poverty, fear, imagination, and change to shed new light on a familiar tale.