JAC Publishing & Promotions


The Real Stories of the Brothers Grimm edited by George Larkin


ISBN #1-60513-029-X

JAC #2008-0026


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 contest.

  • 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 adapted by Scott Stein (Page 33) - Three short, strange tales about a little girl and her toad.

  • The Flounder adapted by 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 adapted 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 Rooster pal.

  • The Turnip adapted by Ruth Silveira (Page 47) - Two brothers fight over an exceptionally large turnip.

The REAL Stories of the Brothers Grimm

$30/individual copy

Please inquire about play performance rights & royalties

For more than copy, or to inquire about performance rights, please call
(781) 272-2066

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  • 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 adapted 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 out quietly…
  • 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
  • Bearskin 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

  • Lucky Day 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.

  • Godfather Death adapted by Haynes Brooke (Page 89) - 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 One-Act.

  • The Miller’s 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 Sisters.

  • 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 120)


George Larkin

Alexis Wesley

Padraic Duffy

Brenda Varda

Joshua Rebell

Joe Jordan

Robert Hensley

Haynes Brooke

Tyler Tanner

Ruth Silveira

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