SOUTHWEST HARBOR ─ The Southwest Harbor Public Library will host a live-streamed virtual event for the premiere of “Fractured Folktales with the Tiniest Librarian,” a musical puppet video series from the minds of local students that reimagines classic tales. The event will take place on Friday, Feb. 26 at 6:30 p.m. on the library’s Facebook and YouTube pages and be available to stream anytime afterwards.
Sponsored by a grant from the Maine Public Library Fund, the “Fractured Folktales” project was an idea formed by children’s librarian Susan Plimpton and theatre-maker Brittany Parker. They wanted to find a creative way to keep students engaged with literacy during the pandemic.
“We knew there were going to be a lot of videos available for young people to watch during this time,” said Parker. “But how often do you think about the story and script behind these films? We wanted to give students a chance to be a part of the process from the start — generating narrative ideas and words that would eventually become a film.”
Plimpton tasked three teams of local kids to read a popular folktale and then imagine a new setting, a surprising twist or an alternate ending to that tale. The resulting stories include a version of “Goldilocks” that takes place under the sea, a “Jack and the Beanstalk” with an action-movie twist, and a hilarious mash-up of “The Little Red Hen” and “Stone Soup.” The kids wrote a narrative summary of their ideas, including some lines for the characters to say, which Parker used to create full scripts and original songs. After the kids gave feedback on these scripts, they were asked to draw designs for each of the characters, which Parker used to create the puppets for the films. Parker then performed the puppet shows from her home studio, filmed with help from her husband and local filmmaker, Peter Logue.
The premiere event on Feb. 26 will consist of interviews with the participating students and Parker, as well as a look behind the scenes. To join this live-streamed event, go to the library’s Facebook Channel, facebook.com/SouthwestHarborPublicLibrary or view it on the library’s YouTube account or at https://youtu.be/FBuv90orEes. The three films, each 20-30 minutes, will then be available to stream on the library’s Facebook and YouTube pages immediately following the event.