SHS theatre students to perform Once Upon a Wolf

Pictured are Junior Garrett Cole, Senior Dallas Holston and Sophomore Elle Brinkley. Contributed

The popularity of fairy tales is once again at an all time high. Television hits like Grimm and Once Upon a Time are coming back for their second seasons, and Hollywood powerhouses, Julia Roberts and Charlize Theron, have lent their talents to two separate cinematic versions of Snow White by playing the evil queen.

Fairy tales are teeming with nefarious characters, seeking out innocent maidens and children and scheming to commit malevolent acts against them. Perhaps none is quite as well known as the Big Bad Wolf who has starring roles in several stories, including Little Red Riding Hood, Peter and the Wolf and the slightly more comedic Three Little Pigs.

But can the wolf change his sinister bent? Stephenville High School Theatre is presenting a one act play that explores that very notion.

The troupe will give three showings for area students Thursday, including performances for Central, Chamberlin and Hook elementary schools, Morgan Mill ISD and a presentation to fellow thespians of Henderson Junior High's own theatre group.

Once Upon a Wolf was written by Steph Deferie, a playwright who likes to put her own spin on age old stories. SHS Theatre's selection is a fast paced series of fairy tales told by Granny Stinky Feet in which the Big Bad Wolf from the Little Red Riding Hood story seeks to redeem his image by adjusting his deeds to present a kinder, gentler wolf. Inserting his reinvented self into the stories as Granny relates them to the audience causes confusion among the regular characters in the fairy tales.

Thanks to the ingenuity of the clever Granny Stinky Feet, Wolf manages to wade through his identity crisis and is transformed into a more politically correct character.

As with many of Deferie's works for children, audience participation is encouraged. And a central message to young spectators is an underlying theme of maintaining one's own integrity and refusing to give in to peer pressure. 

“This has been such a fun show to direct and I think the elementary school kids are going to love it,” SHS Theatre director Mindy Pope said. “I love the moral of this story, to be who you are, even if that's not what's expected.”

A public performance will be held at 6 p.m. Friday at the SHS auditorium. Tickets are $5 and can be purchased at the door.