The local acting troupe this week is bringing fairy tales — with a twist — in its summer production with older children, age 10-16.
The Montana Actors’ Theatre youth production this year, “Fidgety Fairy Tales, ” will run at 7:30 p. m. at the Little Theatre in Cowan Hall at Montana State University-Northern Thursday and Friday, with a matinee production in the Little Theatre Saturday at 2 p. m.
The play looks at fairy tale characters with mental health problems — Little Red Riding Hood suffers from attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, Prince Handsome has depression which developed after the death of his father, and Rapunzel has anxiety about going to new places and refused to leave her tower.
Director Andi Daniel said the musical first ran in 2008 and was written in conjunction with the Minnesota Association for Children's Mental Health.
“Producing ‘Fidgety Fairy Tales’ in Havre has been an interest of mine since I saw a production at a mental health conference in Minnesota in 2008, ” Daniel said. “The stigma attached to mental illness usually stems from misunderstanding or misinformation and can prevent people from getting the help they need. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, 20 percent of children are affected by mental health problems and only one-third of these children receive services. ”
She said the play script has been reviewed by mental health professionals and provides accurate and accessible information about mental health. “Fidgety” has been recognized nationally by the Resource Center to Promote Acceptance, Dignity, and Social Inclusion Associated with Mental Health of the U. S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, and has been recognized as a program of high artistic quality through grants from the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council and the St. Paul Cultural STAR Program.
Admission to the youth production is $8 for adults and $4 for students.