LUMBERTON — Sometimes the fairy tale doesn’t end after “happily ever after.”
More than 20 Robeson County children will show what happens after the book’s final page in a play they will be performing Monday through July 15 at libraries around the county, and at the Carolina Civic Center on July 21.
“It starts with our narrator leading through, saying, ‘Do you think that you know what fairy tales are about? Well, you’re wrong and we are going to tell you the truth.’” said Jennifer Lowry, the director of the show. “It’s kind of like a part two of what would happen in everyone’s stories after they say The End.”
The musical, which the cast members wrote, will be held at 10 a.m. on Monday at the Pembroke library, 11 a.m. on July 12 at the St. Pauls library, 11 a.m. on July 13 at the Maxton library, 11 a.m. on July 14 at the Fairmont library, 2 p.m. on July 14 at the Rowland library and at 10 a.m. on July 15 at the Lumberton branch. The Carolina Civic Center performance will be at 7 p.m. on July 21.
Admission is free.
“We all got together at one of the initial rehearsals and decided we wanted to write our own play because we have some really talented young writers in there,” Lowry said. “They took the challenge and just ran with it. … We were all about seriousness and telling a story, but as it came together it was funny. Everyone was laughing. I guess it took on a life of its own.”
The hour-long story features popular fairy tale characters like Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella in a tale of revenge.
Madame Witchy wants each character to experience misfortune because she doesn’t get her own “ever after.”
Witchy steals the Baker’s child, breaks up Cinderella’s wedding, and Sleeping Beauty becomes narcoleptic and afraid of the dark, carrying a flashlight everywhere she goes.
Snow White, who is a part of the Fairytale Bureau of Investigation, is on the case.
A riot starts, complete with the song “We’re Not Gonna Take It” by Twisted Sister.
“In the progression of the play, you can see where each cast member can reflect on their fears and insecurities, and they say wait a minute, everything isn’t perfect with life,” Lowry said. “Everyone has problems. They thought they were in a perfect little world. Each cast member chose a moment where they could have one of those a-ha moments where they could grow emotionally.”
Cast members include Blaine Goodwin as the narrator and Prince Bob; Chelsea Suggs as Madame Witchy; Jordyn Miller as Snow White; Shani Inbari as Gretel; Sierra Foley as Rapunzel; Anne Miller as Rapunzel’s understudy; Alyssa DeSmit as Wife; Solomon Lowry as Baker; Bridget Scott as Cinderella; Aaron Troy Oxendine as Preacher; Brandon Dial as Prince Richard; Caitlan Meekins as Princess Marigold; Lauren Little as Princess Marigold’s understudy; Brianna Little as Sleeping Beauty; Megan Hurst as Ma; Ian DeSmit as Jack; and Robbie Barr as Giant.
“Each cast member is a star, that’s what makes this show unique,” Lowry said. “… In ‘Ever After,’ each child wrote their own part so strongly that every single student is the lead. They are all instrumental. … It’s not just that they have to act in it. Some of them are doing multiple roles where they are assisting and directing.”
The stage director is Kayleigh Gabriel, and prop assistants are Anne Miller, Craig Long and Solomon Lowry. Brianna Little is the music director, Alyssa DeSmit is the prop director, Megan Hurst is the choreographer and Jordyn Miller is the makeup artist and costume designer.
The children, ranging in age from 6 to 17, have been rehearsing since the end of May. The show features popular songs the children have edited like “Help” by the Beatles, “Anyway” by Martina McBride, and “This is Me” from the Jonas Brothers.
Bill Corder, the youth services librarian and Bob Fisher, the interim director of the library, have been instrumental in getting the play organized.
“It just shows you all the things the library has to offer,” Corder said. “The library is not just for homework, it’s not just to check out books. It’s a place to come to be entertained also. … Libraries are not just academic places. To be truly valued in their community, they have to offer more than books and homework help. To survive, you give the community what it needs.”