David first approached me about developing Le Cirque Féerique (The Fairy Circus) with Collective Unconscious Performance while we were in the middle of a workshop for Skins, our piece in the 2017 Minnesota Fringe Festival.
David pitched Le Cirque Féerique as a feminist story about four bad-ass French women from the 17th century, who were the original creators of our most beloved fairy tales. And, yet, history has all but erased the existence of these women from the textbooks. During his pitch, David told me all about the thrilling escapades that these women pursued: attempted murder, espionage, witchcraft, freeing your lover from imprisonment dressed up as a bear (true story!). As writers, these women were also considered to be bestselling authors in their day. Their fairy tales were wildly popular and featured bold, clever princesses who never waited around for a prince to come and save the day. Instead, they did it themselves. Before David could finish telling me about the project, I knew that I was on board.
This play is a gift. It’s a joy to work on everyday, which is definitely not true for every piece. This is a play about four tough, complicated, and determined women who desperately want something and aren’t afraid to go after it. How often do we see that onstage? In our current world, this play has taken on new meaning for me. In spite of the many hardships that these women faced (and I don’t want to give anything away, but believe me: there were many), they persisted. These women inspire me, and I feel so honored to be bringing their lives to the stage.
Please join us for the work-in-progress reading of Le Cirque Féerique at the Alliance Française, at 7 P.M. on February 12. Admission is free, and David and I will be eager to hear your thoughts. We hope to see you there!
~ Emily Dendinger, playwright