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New Theatre Gigante Production Aims To Break Up The Monotony Of Life During The Pandemic

Courtesy of Theatre Gigante
A Cosmic Fairy Tale A Day Keeps The Doctor Away contains 31 readings of stories written by author Rok Vilčnik and brought to life by Theatre Gigante.

Life during a pandemic can be incredibly monotonous. The same routine every day in the same home can make a person’s soul sick, begging for a shake up to the daily agenda. This was part of the inspiration for Theatre Gigante’s newest production, A Cosmic Fairy Tale A Day Keeps The Doctor Away.

The production takes place over 31 videos, in which a storyteller reads a fairy tale written by Slovene writer Rok Vilčnik. Starting on March 1, a new video was released each day for viewers to consume day by day or binge in bulk.

The project was created and directed by Isabelle Kralj, also the founder of Theatre Gigante. She thought of the idea while revising translations of Vilčnik’s writing and wanting to hear the stories read by different voices.

“Then I started thinking about the saying, 'An apple a day keeps the doctor away' and of the pandemic and thinking, 'Gee, if someone could listen to a little story every morning would that brighten their day,'” says Kralj.

But the company went further than just having people record videos of themselves reading the stories, and added visuals and musical scores to each video, production manager Mark Anderson explains.

“The video visuals created by Justin Thomas and the music or sound score by Frank Pahl...each one of those elements adds something to the story. So the content of the story, the punchline or the metaphor or whatever is one thing that’s really great to engage with, and then there’s the way it happens,” says Anderson.

The production was able to include storytellers from across the country and globe — with speakers from Italy to Taiwan. Kralj says one benefit of the pandemic and everything happening virtually is the ability to bring together these people who would normally never be able to participate in a production together.

With a video a day format, Kralj says she wants viewers to come away with a sense of renewed hope.

“Rok’s writing is such a wonderful combination of being contemporary and edgy and yet inspirational I think, and in a way romantic. He’s a nice combination, where you do always walk away feeling inspired, feeling good,” she says.

Having completed the first show of A Cosmic Fairy Tale A Day Keeps The Doctor Away in March, Theatre Gigante is bringing back the production for another run in the beginning of May with a pay-what-you-can model.

Ben Binversie was a producer with WUWM's Lake Effect program.
From 2020 to 2021, Jack was WUWM's digital intern and then digital producer.
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