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2019-2020 Season

How the Years Change the Story

An image of a wood carving of rumplestiltskin

by Samantha Baird, Dramaturg

Fairy tales, as we know them today, are much like the children’s game of “telephone.” Over the years of being told orally, stories naturally will change and adapt to match the environment in which they are being told. However, something that is even more intriguing is when stories are intentionally changed to emphasize different elements. Below is a comparison of three retellings/adaptations of the classic tale Rumpelstiltskin.

Title Rumpelstiltskin Rump Rump: The Musical
Who Jakob and Wilhelm Grimm (The Brothers Grimm) Liesl Shurtliff Timothy Threlfall
What When a young woman is taken by the king after her father promises that she can spin straw into gold, a mysterious little man appears to help her. But for Rumpelstiltskin, the help comes at a cost. “In a magic kingdom where your name is your destiny, 12-year-old Rump is the butt of everyone’s joke. But when he finds an old spinning wheel, his luck seems to change. Rump discovers he has a gift for spinning straw into gold. His best friend, Red Riding Hood, warns him that magic is dangerous, and she’s right. With each thread he spins, he weaves himself deeper into a curse.”  ~lieslshurtliff.com/rump “Based on The New York Times’s bestselling novel by BYU alum Liesl Shurtliff, this fractured fairy tale follows the adventures of Rump, a young man who discovers that sometimes the greatest gifts come with the most terrible curses. Told inventively through an a capella musical score, this workshop performance is an exciting world premiere.”  ~arts.byu.edu/rump
When 1812 2013 2019
Where Hanau, Hesse, Germany Salt Lake City, Utah, USA Provo, Utah, USA
Why To write down and preserve a story that had been told orally for centuries, maybe even millennia. “To tell a story that would be more on the level of kids today and how they, and how a lot of people, view the world.”  ~Liesl Shurtliff “Rumplestiltskin is such a famous story, that it becomes more about HOW you tell the story rather than about telling the story for the first time.”                     ~Tim Threlfall

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