Play weaves childhood stories into dark tale
The School of Theatre and Music presents “The Secret in the Wings,” a play from Tony Award-winner Mary Zimmerman that weaves seven fairy tales to create a darkly beautiful story about beasts, beauties and other characters from childhood stories.
The play is directed by UIC School of Theatre and Music director and Lookingglass ensemble member Christine Mary Dunford.
Performances take place at 7:30 p.m. Nov. 16–19 and 2 p.m. Nov. 20 in the UIC Theatre, ETMSW.
According to Dunford, the play opens with a little girl “left in the forest” of her home, where she should feel safe. There is a neighbor, a stranger who is an ogre that no one else can or will see. It is a retelling of the “Beauty and the Beast” story, where the girl realizes in the end that the Beast is lovable. Dunford said she finds honesty and beauty along with hope in fairy tales through their “openhanded, generous playfulness.”
Dunford said she has been rewarded working with UIC students on the play, which does not have a linear narrative but is rich in images and metaphors that leave room for actors and the audience to chip away at interpreting meanings together.
Along with being an associate professor of theatre at UIC, Dunford has been an ensemble member with the Lookingglass Theatre Company since 1989.
“I have been in love with the text since I ran lights for “The Secret in the Wings” when it was first produced with Lookingglass in 1991. I thought it would be a good exercise in style for UIC students, and an opportunity for me to spend more time thinking about metaphor and movement in storytelling,” Dunford said