The Real Stories of the Brothers Grimm
edited by George
From the Producer...
“We tried hard to keep the spirit of the
Brothers Grimm alive, bringing their stories to audiences today just as they
strove to do. In these plays, we have everything from silly stories to tales
of grave darkness in pieces that run from just a few minutes to over half an
hour. There is quite literally something for everyone here. One of my
great joys putting together and producing the shows was seeing audiences
realize what these folk tales really are -- to see them react to the true,
wonderful, strange, and rich world that the Brothers actually recorded, not
the watered down versions they thought they knew. It’s difficult to fully
imagine the era the stories come from. The Brothers’ first edition of their
book of stories came out the same year of Napoleon's disastrous retreat from
Waterloo, but thanks to them, we can feel some of the joys, sorrows, and
fears the people of the time felt.
I produced three different shows of Grimm tales over three years. Now, we
present these plays here to you, and I sincerely hope you continue on with
the storytelling that started so long ago. You can do an evening of dark
tales, light fables, or a mixture of both as we did, not letting the
audience know what was coming. We even did shows for adults in the evening
with both the light and dark material, and then we'd take the lighter half
of the show and put it on for children for weekend matinees. You have a lot
to choose from. The order of the stories printed here is not random. The
tales get darker, more adult, and more serious as they go. Pick what you
want and go!” - George Larkin, Producer
In this collection you find the following short tales
(each also available individually):
Infinite Cinderella: All Things Grimm,
Part One by George Larkin (Page 7)
Cinderella was a Greek slave girl living in ancient Egypt? The
introduction to the world of folk tales with an exploration of one of
the Grimms’ most famous tales: Cinderella. This piece explores the rich
2,000 year history of what most scholars call the most popular folk tale
in the history of the world. A journey that takes up all the way back to
the tale’s roots in ancient Egypt. In five minutes. Selected to be part
of the 2002 Nantucket Short Play Festival after a national submission
Death of the Little Hen: All Things
Grimm Part One by George Larkin (Page 11)
A Storyteller tells tales to her step-daughter. Of course, this being
Grimm, the young girl keeps getting sucked into the stories and terrible
things happen to her.
The Goose Girl adapted by
Wayne Peter Liebman (Page 14) -
A Waiting Maid schemes to take her Lady’s place. Justice is not kind to
such a crime. Received in 2003 a Backstage West honorable mention
Garland for playwriting.
The Brothers Grimm by
George Larkin (Page 19)
A short piece to introduce the Brothers Grimm themselves into the play.
Brothers who left the law to collect folks tales of the ordinary people,
trying to preserve what they saw as the poetry of the people.
The Mouse, The Bird and The Sausage
adapted by Ruth Silveira (Page 20)
The three all live together in harmony, each with a special job to do.
Till one day the Bird decides to change things up. Not a good idea.
The Fox and The Geese
adaptation by Alexis Wesley (Page 25) -
Four Geese outwit a hungry fox. A short, fun story.
The Fisherman and His Wife
adapted by Joe Jordan (Page 27) -
A morality take of greed, featuring a fisherman, his wife, and a magic,
talking fish. Be careful about what you wish for…Tales About Toads
by Scott Stein (Page 33) -
Three short, strange tales about a little girl and her toad.
Padraic Duffy (Page 34) -
Six fish sort things out.
The Duration of Life, or How Long Shall
I Live adapted by Brenda Varda (Page 37)
A Thing Called Moon
adapted by Brenda Varda (Page 39) -
One tells why man has his lifespan. The other explains why the moon is
in the sky
Hans the Hedgehog
by Scott Stein (Page 40) -
A child born as a half-human, half hedgehog, is cast out by his family
and begins his strange journey to become King with the help of his
- The Turnip adapted by Ruth
Silveira (Page 47) -
Two brothers fight over an exceptionally large turnip.
The Cat and Mouse in Partnership
by Joshua Rebell (Page 57) -
A cat and a mouse live together in harmony. But there’s not enough food
to go around and winter is coming…
- The Willful Child
by Joe Seely (Page 61)
A warning for all naughty children! When God decides He doesn’t like a
child, He gives her a terrible disease and she dies. But she’s not going
Fairy Tale Princesses: All Things Grimm,
Part Two by George Larkin (Page 62)
Explore the darker past of folk tales by looking at the versions of
well-known ‘Disney’ Divas that Disney never did – the dark pasts of
Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, and Snow White are revealed.
- How the Children Played at Slaughtering
(Version One) by Erik M. Evans (Page 65)
How the Children
Played at Slaughtering (Version Two)
by George Larkin (Page 67)
‘Slaughtering’ is a rarely seen story. It was published in the first
edition of Grimm back in 1812 and then never again by the Brothers. It
is very rarely published now and is almost unknown today. There were two
versions put out then. One is very dark and keeps getting darker. The
second one starts the same but has a happier ending.
- Death’s Messengers
by Bryan Davidson (Page 68) -
A story that uses a classic tale, ‘Death’s Messengers,’ to speculate on
how the Grimm’s themselves collected their stories. Nominated for a 2003
L.A. Weekly Award for Best Writing in a One Act
adapted by Ruth Silveira (Page 73) -
A man returning from the war makes a deal with the devil. Nominated for
a 2003 L.A. Weekly Award for Best Writing in a One Act
The Star of Money
adapted by Scott Sanford Tobis (Page 82) -
A little girl gives away everything she has. And gets cash back for it.
Nominated for a 2003 L.A. Weekly Award for Best Writing in a One Act
by Drew Brody (Page 84) - Based on Grimm’s 'Misfortune', Lucky
Day tells the story of three fishers… fishing.
The Singing Bone
by Tyler Tanner and Jeff Folschinsky (Page 86) -
Brother against brother, a tale of want and greed, and how the righteous
rise above wrong-doing every time.
adapted by Haynes Brooke (Page
A man with too many children to care for takes Death Himself as
Godfather to his infant son. Nominated for a four L.A. Weekly Awards, a
2002 L.A. Weekly Award for Best Writing and for Best Directing in a
One-Act., and winner of two L.A. Weekly Awards for Best Actor in a
Daughter adapted by Chantal
Bilodeau (Page 99) -
Adapted from “The Girl Without Hands.” A desperate man accidentally
sells his daughter to the Devil. But her tears keep washing her hands,
and the Devil can’t take her. So the Devil demands the man cut off his
daughter’s hands. But her journey is just beginning.
The Dark Sisters
adapted by Robert Hensley (Page 107) -
Adapted from “The Crows.” A solider is betrayed and blinded by his
comrades. But fortune finds him anyway in the menacing form of the Dark
The Jew Among
Thorns by Michael Farkash
(Page 112) -
A servant crosses paths with another traveler. The prejudice of the
times comes through strongly in this tale.
The Last Moment:
All Things Grimm Finale by
George Larkin (Page 116) -
A very short wrap up piece which ties the entire evening together.
As well as: The History of
The REAL Stories of the Brothers Grimm! and Raves About the Plays (Page