Fairy Tale Theatre productions come wrapped in whimsical scripts filled with enough playful puns to elicit happy groans in Edinburgh, where its free shows are presented. They also come draped in shimmery, professional-looking costumes befitting a much larger production.
Although writer-director Cecile Beavin, a Columbus counselor, regularly mentions that her works entertain children, she is forgetting a few key lines. Behind the curtain, her presentations and adapted music offer symbolism for navigating some of life’s more common hurdles: battling depression, finding a way to get unstuck from repeating, unhealthy circumstances, and reviving fragile hope amid smothering struggles.
“I guess that’s just part of who I am,” she said.
It’s also a part of her latest effort, “The Return of the Giant King,” unfolding at 2 p.m. Sunday at the Pixy Theatre, 111 S. Walnut St.
Story continues below gallery
The Giant King of Plum Dum (played by Kendrick Harper) has not returned from an excursion. The castle is crumbling with its inhabitants’ hope. As a flowing, dancing Rosenwind (played by Kimberly Hoffman) blows in kind strangers to the edifice, the visitors bring a royal and king-sized sense of expectancy that Plum Dum’s leader will return and make way for restoration.
Columbus’ Randy Snyder, who plays a villainous bee, loves the multi-faceted nature of Fairy Tale Theatre.
“It’s not just an opportunity to sit and watch,” Snyder said. “There’s all kinds of audience participation.”
Trumpet, cello, guitar and piano accompany the music of composers such as Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, Ludwig von Beethoven, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky and others.
As she has done since the homespun troupe’s launch in 2000, Beavin designed and made all the costumes, built the sets and borrowed and altered tunes ranging from folk to Broadway numbers to bring the story to life.
One song, Roger Miller’s “Leavin’s Not the Only Way To Go,” becomes food for thought for not only the King as he croons on a darkened Pixy balcony, but something for everyone to consider.
“Culturally, we all are in situations at one time or another in which we have to wonder, ‘Do I stay in this environment or do I go?’” Beavin said. “When he speaks and sings (from the balcony) we let him be simply a voice — just like the voice inside of each of us.”
Columbus’ Harper, in his third Fairy Tale Theatre show, finds insight in the stories linking with elements of real life — elements that Beavin mentions she never belabors.
“I’m facing some challenges myself right now,” Harper said. “And I’m personally finding solace in this.”
Beavin, a former Catholic nun who said she openly embraces the philosophical side of life, finds that a line from the Kahlil Gibran classic book, “The Prophet,” weaves its way through her counseling and her creativity alike: “No man can reveal to you aught but that which already lies half asleep in the dawning of your knowledge.”
As she sees it, that’s the Plum truth.
What: Fairy Tale Musical Theatre’s production of the original musical, “The Return of the Giant King,” aimed at kids and kids-at-heart. Several elements of the show are built for audience participation, and sometimes young audience members are invited onstage.
When: 2 p.m. Sunday.
Where: Edinburgh’s Pixy Theatre, 111 Walnut St.
Admission: Free, but donations are accepted and encouraged to go toward the Pixy’s restoration.