The Weaver's Tales



“THE WEAVER’S TALE:  of the fearless boy and the loveless girl” “THE WEAVER’S TALE:  of cinderella and the devil” “THE WEAVER’S TALE:  of debt and the maidens”

A Unique Twist on Grimm’s Fairytales, “The Weaver’s Tales” Incorporates Music, Storytelling and a Feast for the Eyes in Physical Theatre and Fashion Design!

“The Weaver’s Tales” is a unique multi-media theatrical adventure that seamlessly weaves together three storylines by combining fairy tales, physical theatre, dance, high fashion and music, in a three-part work that will captivate audiences with a full-sensory experience.  Through these world premiere performance experiences we have strived to go beyond theatre or even ‘musical theatre’ into the world of living musical performance art.

“The Weaver’s Tales” are inspired by music ranging from Beethoven’s classic Septet to music from post-modern composer Elliott Carter. Carter’s music, with its spiky and dissident nature, is used to purposefully illustrate the “grim” nature of the fairy tales. “The Weaver’s Tales” also features music by Mason Bates, a cutting edge incoming composer for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.  Bates is a composer of symphonic music who includes electronica and techno in his orchestral works.  His unique fusion of orchestral writing, techno rhythms, and imaginative narrative forms bring “The Weaver’s Tales” to life.

The first piece of the series, “The Weaver’s Tale: of the fearless boy and the loveless girl,” weaves together the story of “Snegurotchka – The Snow Maiden” and “The Boy Who Went Forth to Learn What Fear Was” and is set to the music of Ralph Vaughan Williams (“Piano Quintet,” complete), Mason Bates (“Red River,” complete), David Maslanka (“Wind Quintet No. 2,” selections) and Mark Fish (“Pictures of Miro,” selections).

The second piece, “The Weaver’s Tale: of cinderella and the devil,” weaves together three separate tales including the classic “Cinderella,” “How The Devil Married Three Sisters” and “The Robber Bridegroom.”  Music selections will include works by Ludwig von Beethoven (“Septet”), Elliott Carter (“Sonata for flute, oboe, cello and harpsichord”) and Mark Fish (“Pictures of Miro,” selections). Fifth House Ensemble takes a feminist twist with these tales, examining how women interact with men, both positively and negatively.

Based on “The Two Travelers” and “Three Little Men in the Wood,” “The Weaver’s Tale: of debt and the maidens,” examines the ideas of greed versus hard work and greed versus generosity, exposing our tendencies towards a consumerist society. Music will include selections from Johannes Brahms (“Piano Quintet in C Minor”), Bohuslav Martinu (“Nonet”), Miguel del Aguila (“Wind Quintet”) and Mark Fish (“Pictures of Miro,” selections).

Fifth House Ensemble is also pleased to program the winner of its 2010 Young Composer’s Competition, “Illuminated by the Light of Two Ships Passing in the Night” by Massachusetts composer Oliver Caplan, into “The Weaver’s Tales” this season.  Caplan’s music will be included in one of the three works, to be announced at a later date.

“The Weaver’s Tales” world premiere is the collaborative effort of Fifth House Ensemble, with Rebekah Scallet and Lindsey Marks, who have co-written and directed the pieces. Lindsey Marks, also known as “Lady Jack,” is a multi-faceted performance artist and burlesque dancer from Chicago that will be playing the character of Anansi throughout the season, the west-African spider who is the spinner of all tales.  Anansi orchestrates the interactions of the characters in each of the separate works while also weaving each of the tales together. Rebekah Scallet is a freelance director and dramaturg who most recently directed The Tempest for the Illinois Shakespeare Festival, Anne Frank & Me for the College of Lake County and served as the assistant director for Twelfth Night at Chicago Shakespeare Theater.

The seamless construction of stories and music are highlighted in focal haute-couture garments that will be featured throughout each performance. These garments will be created by local designers who will be announced at a later date.

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