Fairytale: Escape the Cliche

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From July 13 – July 15, Charlotte Christian Theater Company performed the world premiere of Jeremy and Erin Phillips’ musical production Fairytale: Escape the Cliche.

Fairytale is “every bedtime story you have ever read.” The play takes place in Everaftia, where the king’s sudden and tragic death has left his second wife and his four daughters to fend for themselves. Before he died, the king decreed that his successor would be Sir Alexander, the bravest knight in the land, and that one of his four daughters would marry Alexander. The play also had plenty of humorous, modern elements like “land pirates” who live in the woods and order off Amazon Prime.

“Take your quintessential fairytale plot, and there you have it,” says Mint Hill Resident and Fairytale actress Leanne Thurman. “Except things go awry.” Although Fairytale employs stereotypical fairytale characters and typical fairytale plot elements, it aims to take everything the audience knows about fairy tales and turn it upside down.

The play’s stereotypical fairytale characters aren’t satisfied with their storybook life and struggle to find out who they are. By the end, it’s no longer your typical fairy tale, and the characters’ “happily ever after” isn’t what you’d expect.

Ultimately, Fairytale is not just a humorous, tongue-in-cheek poke at the genre of fairy tales but also a play that conveys a prevailing Christian message about finding purpose and meaning through God and not allowing our God-given differences to divide us.

Reception to Fairytale was positive. “It went really well,” says Thurman. “We had a really good audience turnout. It definitely had the effect we intended of spreading the message of the show. The audience as really receptive, especially to a lot of the humor in the show.”

Fairytale was Charlotte Christian Theater Company’s annual summer production. CCTC mainly focuses on offering classes during the school year for children ages 8 and up. CCTC’s children’s theater classes always culminate in a production. They also offer an adult class that focuses more on acting technique and methodology. CCTC’s summer production is unique in that it is the company’s only auditioned production for adults. The cast and crew was filled with much of CCTC’s production team as well as some older teens who take classes at CCTC during the school year.

One of the cast and crew members was Mint Hill resident Leanne Thurman, who managed props for the show and appeared on stage as a pirate. Thurman has been managing CCTC’s web site for about a year and a half. She found CCTC through a theater production at Carmel Christian School, where Thurman works primarily as a lower school Spanish teacher.

[/media-credit] Mint Hill resident Leanne Thurman (far left) with fellow pirates

Thurman sees CCTC, which operates out of Crossway Community Church on Prosperity Church Road, as a unique opportunity for resident of Mint Hill and surrounding areas who are interested in theater. Most Christian schools have theater programs, and many churches may put on theatrical productions. However, CCTC is not associated with a particular school or church, making it the only public Christian theater company in the area. It’s also one of the few theatrical opportunities in the area for children, closer to Mint Hill than Charlotte Children’s Theater and less competitive than Matthews Playhouse.

Charlotte Christian Theater Company is currently enrolling for fall classes. Find out more about the company and its offerings online at http://charlottechristiantheatre.com/ or follow them on facebook. CCTC’s next theatrical productions will take place in the spring.

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Mary Beth Foster
Mary Beth Foster works part time as an essay specialist at Charlotte Latin School and full time as a mom to her five-year-old daughter Hannah and her two-year-old son Henry. Prior to having children, she worked as a high school English teacher for nine years. Most recently, she chaired the English department at Queen's Grant High School. She and her husband have lived in Mint Hill with their children and their cats since 2011. Email: marybeth@minthilltimes.com