Kai and the Snow Queen
Kai and the Snow Queen. Photos by Ralph Stewart

A frosty fairytale

Posted December 7, 2006

It's beginning to feel more like the holiday season here on the Island with the number of holiday events in theatre and concert increasing by the day, it seems.

This week, the Vineyard Playhouse premiers its Family Holiday Show by presenting Hans Christian Andersen's "The Snow Queen." The performances begin this Friday, Dec. 8. There will be eight shows in total, running until Dec. 23.

Elizabeth Wojtusik recently revised this version, and presents it in collaboration with MJ Bruder Munafo, the Playhouse's artistic director. As this year's Family Holiday Show, the production is an ideal winter event for the whole family, and recommended for children ages 5 and up.

The story follows Gerda, played by Helen Driesen, as she travels to the Snow Queen's palace to rescue her best friend, Kai. The story is enriched as she meets an array of interesting characters along her way from the Flower Lady and her enchanted flowers, to robbers, and then a reindeer.

A huge Vineyard cast fills the roles of these colorful characters. Sheryl Dagostino plays the Snow Queen. Joining her are John Ortman, Christopher Kann, Chelsea McCarthy, Nancy Luedeman, Virginia Hackney, Victoria Campbell, Jennie Driesen, Ron Dagostino, Lee Fierro, Aaron Duclos, and Clark Maffitt.

The Snow Queen
One of the enchanted creatures in Hans Christian Andersen's "The Snow Queen."

The fairytale is brought to life with many children on stage as well. Taylor McNeely, Tyler Shapiro, Anna Yukevich, Emma Catherine Urban, Sam Oslyn, Sam Permar, Chris Pitt, Eli Dagostino, Jacqueline Menton, Sarah Alexander, Katie Clarke, Sarah Johnson, Emma Hallbilsback, Willa Vigneault, Katherine Reid, Emily Moore, Emma Johnson, Russell Shapiro, and Douglas Andrade.

Stage manager Kate Hancock joins Charlie Esposito, who is in charge of music and sound effects, and choreographer Amy Cohn Crawford. Lisa Pegnato, Stephen Zablotny, Sally Cohn, and Fred Hancock created the icy winter wonderland set, and Abigail Bailey designed the costumes.

Mr. Andersen originally wrote "The Snow Queen" in seven short stories in 1845. Since then, it has been adapted into fairytales, plays, and movies. Among his other most famous works are "The Little Mermaid," and "The Ugly Duckling."

Don't miss our Island version of "The Snow Queen."

"The Snow Queen," Fridays, Dec. 8, 15, and 22 and Saturdays 9, 16, and 23 at 7 pm. Matinees on Sundays Dec. 10 and 17 at 3 pm. The Vineyard Playhouse, Vineyard Haven. Tickets are $17.50, $15 for seniors, $12.50 children 18 and under, and can be purchased ahead of time or at the door. To purchase tickets or for more information, call the Playhouse at 508-696-6300 or visit