By Jackie Demaline
The Cincinnati Enquirer
Local playwright/actress/director Mary Tensing is doing double duty for Rapunzel, which premieres next week with performances Friday through Sunday at the Taft Theatre.
She's the fairy tale's adapter and for the first time she's appearing in her own play. (Check behind the witch's warts and you'll find someone a lot prettier.)
When Tensing was approached to write a stage version she knew "a passive chick in a tower" is an "archetype we don't need any more."
So she decided to turn the story about the girl with the flowing locks on its ear by using the plot points (witch, curse, prince, etc.) to tell a more contemporary tale.
"What if she wants to stay in the tower?" Tensing ventures.
"She has great friends, she has books, she knows things, but she's safe from the world. The lesson we learn from the story is that we need to meet life."
Tensing leaves the fairy tale in the popular medieval setting, but she infuses plenty of attitude. Among her inspirations were Shrek, Monty Python, The Princess Bride.
"We need to hear something new" in fairy tales, Tensing says, "or they're not as compelling anymore. We're chewing on life in a new way today."
The Children's Theatre production of Rapunzel plays at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Saturday and next Sunday at the Taft Theatre, Fifth and Main streets, downtown. For reservations and information call 562-4949 or visit online at www.ticketmaster.com.
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