by Haley Flanders, dramaturg (While the BYU production is closed, The Fisherman and His Wife is still busy touring at local elementary schools. There will also 1 FREE performances at the Orem library, 11/10 at 7 pm. Monday night was the Provo library performance. Here’s me and the cast at the end of an incredible performance to a packed house in the library ballroom.) As my last blog post, I would like to commemorate some of my favorite moments from the show by displaying a few fabulous production photos from a September performance at BYU, accompanied by some of my thoughts. Enjoy! Featured above is the stunning introduction, where the cast swiftly marches out onto the stage to upbeat percussion music, with horns happily announcing the arrival of the Young Company troupe. The flags were used to create the many transformations of the Fisherman’s home, as it goes from hut, to cottage, to stone castle, to much more! They were such simple set pieces, yet a brilliant technique to draw our attention and create “scenery in motion,” a concept established by director Néstor Bravo Goldsmith. Here, the storyteller (Mariah Bowles, center) introduces her company and begins narrating the story. The Flounder (Ross Wilcox) grants the first wish of the Fisherman (Brandon Bringhurst): Isabel’s desire for a stone cottage. The replica was pulled out of the conch shells at the front of the stage (which represented the seashore) and placed in the Seahorse Assistant’s coral backpack, featured in a previous blog post. This picture is worth a thousand words. The chemistry between Brandon and Ross is always so entertaining to watch, and the sassy Seahorse (Emma Truax) adds a colorful layer of comedic genius, with her own personal journey toward learning to love and support the Fisherman on his quest for happiness in his marriage and in his life. One of my favorite visual moments is the windy scene with the dramatic musical underscore and the kokken (Nicole Schofield and Rachel Belt) drastically shaking the Fisherman’s cape to demonstrate the treacherous weather that his wife’s selfish choices has created. This moment always leaves a lasting impact on me, due to its simple yet stunning ability to create such heightened drama: the storm before the calm… 🙂 The title characters of The Fisherman and His Wife (Brandon Bringhurst and Lizzie Mickelsen) taught me so much about the importance of equal partnership and compromise in relationships, the power of wishes, and how to be truly happy. The husband and wife duo showcase the many pains of an unbalanced marriage, but the sweet conclusion depicts how wonderful life can be with someone by your side, looking out for you every step of the way. Goldsmith’s use of dramatically stylistic acting techniques made these characters’ transformations truly recognizable and captivating for audiences of all ages. I learned so many great lessons by dramaturging and watching this show, mainly about the importance of love, family, and selflessness. It has been such a blessing to work on this Young Company production, and to witness so many audiences enjoy this wonderfully timeless Brothers Grimm fairytale.