State 48 Theatre’s Original ‘Villians’ Offers New Take On Old Fairy Tale - SanTan Sun News SanTan Sun News

State 48 Theatre’s Original ‘Villians’ Offers New Take On Old Fairy Tale

November 6th, 2018 SanTan Sun News
State 48 Theatre’s Original ‘Villians’ Offers New Take On Old Fairy Tale


Rumpelstiltskin clearly was the villain in the classic Grimms’ Fairy Tale. He coerced the poor miller’s daughter into making an impossible promise. But what happened after the maiden guessed his name?

The story does not end there.

It continues in State 48 Theatre Company’s original musical, “Villains,” a not-so-classic tale of good vs. evil featuring Rumpelstiltskin and more than a dozen other villains, heroes and heroines from the beloved Grimms stories. Featuring 39 youth performers ages 8-18, the show runs Oct. 18-25 with performances on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at State 48’s FUSE Box Theatre, 943 S. Gilbert Road in Mesa.

Written by State 48 co-founder and “Villains” director Andrea McFeely, the story follows King Damian, Queen Alice and Princess Grace, who are living out a fairy-tale life in the Land of Light among friends like Rapunzel, Aurora and their handsome princes. Little do they know that Rumpelstiltskin and scores of other villains are plotting their revenge and plan to escape Inner Darkness to rule the Land of Light.

“The fairy tales are always told from the victor’s point of view,” McFeely said. “With this production, we’re taking a classic tale and turning it on its head, giving the villains a chance to share their side of the story.”

In classic fairy-tale fashion, the witches, minions and other villains brood in their black costumes and smoky makeup, a stark contrast to the bright colors, rosy cheeks and glowing demeanor of the story’s princesses and their handsome princes. The set, too, portrays good vs. evil, with its Land of Light on one side and Inner Darkness on the other.

But the tale is infused with edgy, unexpected elements that transport classic characters into modern times. Instead of porridge and sheep, Goldilocks and Little Bo Peep wield knives to hunt witches, wearing costumes that are part-Medieval and part steam-punk. Meanwhile, Rumpelstiltskin shows audiences his surprisingly less-evil – and much more modern – side with his rap rendition of the original song, “Rumpel Rap.”

“The music isn’t what you’d expect from a classic fairy tale,” said Karli Kemper, who wrote and directed the music in “Villains” and co-founded State 48. “The songs are inspired by modern-day musicals, with a bit of ‘80s-style rock and pop for good measure.”

“Of course, it helps to have a crazy-talented cast to bring the magic to life,” said McFeely.

Among the performers is Halle Glazebrook, a senior at Highland High School. Her character, Princess Grace, falls in love with Rumpelstiltskin, played by 18-year-old Kale Burr.

“It’s so much fun to show a different side of the storybook princess character,” said Glazebrook, who has performed in 13 productions over the last eight years. “Yes, she’s cheerful and wears a fancy dress, but she’s also smart, tough and brave enough to fall in love with a very unlikely suitor.”

Other lead performers are Emma Webster as Queen Alice, Parker Nuttall playing King Damian, and Hannah Van Holten as Queen Moira, all seniors at Highland. Featured and ensemble performers hailing from all over the Valley round out the “Villains” cast.

Next up, State 48 will hold auditions Nov. 2-3 for children, teens and adults for its original holiday production, “Fifty Dollar Gold Piece,” which will run Dec. 19-22.

More information on auditions and upcoming productions can be found at

Tickets for “Villains” are $14 and are available at