‘Walking Dwarves’ brings fractured fairytale to the stage

Margaret Hurlbert
Margaret Hurlberthttps://discovermuscatine.com
Margaret Hurlbert works as the Editor of Discover Muscatine Newspaper.

Muscatine Living

MUSCATINE, Iowa–Three summers ago, the Pearl City Players brought some of literature’s most beloved works to life with their children’s show “The Enchanted Bookshop.” This summer, they look to take a completely different approach to some of the best known fairytales. In their first children’s production since 2019, the Pearl City Players look to have some fracture fairytale fun with the “The Walking Dwarves.”

Though Director Cali Van Zandt had come across fractured fairytales before, she had never seen one that incorporated zombies in such a kid-friendly way as “The Walking Dwarves” did. “I chose this show back in the summer of 2019; as an avid fan of ‘The Walking Dead’ and other zombie related shows, I thought this would be a fun way to incorporate familiar fairytale characters with the fun and not at all scary zombies!” she explained.

As in the tale of Snow White, an evil queen asks her magic mirror to find out the identity of the most beautiful person in the kingdom. When she finds out a band of seven dwarves holds that distinction, she turns them all into zombies, and hilarity ensues as Snow White and a huntsman work together to stop them before they get to all the other well-known fairytale characters in the land. A versatile production, Van Zandt encourages people to come see it more than once, as they may notice some important differences between shows. She hinted, “come every night because the shows ending will not be the same every night!”

Since June 1, 28 kids ranging from eight to 18-years-old have rehearsed for this summer’s production. After taking two years off due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Van Zandt feels thrilled to have a group of children learning the magic of theatre and maturing together in a safe and supportive environment. “The best part of any production is watching these kids grow and learn, not only on stage but off,” Van Zandt shared. “I have several returning kids that I have seen grow up into these wonderful people, and it really does warm my heart.”

Van Zandt has also welcomed the opportunity to work with Lauri Gann and all the new and returning families. “You will never know how much I appreciate you–I couldn’t do this without you all!” she insisted.

For the first time this year, the Pearl City Players will perform at Louisa-Muscatine Junior-Senior High School at 14354 170th Street in Letts. Performances of “The Walking Dwarves” will take place at 7 p.m. July 15 and at 2 and 7 p.m. July 16. Audience members may purchase tickets at the door for $10 for adults and $5 for students.

As Muscatine County’s aspiring actors take the stage, many for the first time since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, Van Zant welcomes the community to come out for a night of entertainment and to encourage Muscatine County’s rich theatre scene: “Come support the arts! Come support Muscatine County kids and see the love and the passion they have put into this show! They deserve to be applauded for all their hard work and dedication!”

Latest News

Community Foundation of Greater Muscatine Announces $500,000 Grant

The Community Foundation of Greater Muscatine announces a multi-year grant in the amount of $500,000 has been awarded from...