McCallum Arts & Humanities Center, Iowa
Before there was Hansel, there was Gretel! Based on the Russian source that is the origin story of the tale, this musical focuses on the girls and women at the center of the adventure. Featuring folk/rock music, the songs capture the darkness but also the humor and humanity of Gretel’s journey to fetch the skull of undying light from Baba Yaga, one of the most fascinating witches of all time. On her way, Gretel meets the Black Knight, who holds the secrets of the stars in his cloak, and three horsemen, who carry the sun across the sky. Once Gretel reaches Baba Yaga’s hut on chicken legs, she confronts the witch. Baba Yaga sets three impossible tasks for Gretel to complete in exchange for the skull. In the tasks, Gretel discovers the positive power of her anger, the comfort of her compassion, the gift of her grief, and the truth of her own birthright, as she teaches herself how to survive.