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Fairy Tales in the Sun
After 16 months without consistent live, in-person theater in the DMV, it’s a pleasure to stroll past Glen Echo Park‘s century-old Dentzel Carousel and art deco buildings to a field where Adventure Theatre has set up an outdoor stage to see Fairy Tales in the Sun, a double-bill of original one-act plays for young audiences. First up is Lyra Yang‘s The Flood in the Future, a parable in which Jing-Jing (Alex De Bard), an aspiring engineer, discovers that her father (Dylan Arredondo), the owner of a t-shirt factory, is responsible for turning the Crystal River of his youth into the Murky River of the present. The protagonist creates an allyship with Nüwa (Zoe Elene Bernabe), Chinese mythology’s mother goddess responsible for human creation, to persuade her father to clean-up his business practices. The play draws parallels with one of the best known stories associated with Nüwa: Her repair of the heavens after a mountain-shattering battle between the gods of water and fire. The second act is Michelle Lynch‘s From Cinders to Ella. Though the story features all the familiar elements of the well-known fairytale, including Ella (Jasmine Proctor), her oppressive Stepsister (De Bard) and Stepmother (Alex Reeves), and her Fairy Godmother (Rebecca Ballinger), Lynch places less emphasis on pursuing the prince and more on family reconciliation—the stepmother is treated with a sympathy rarely seen. Director Stan Kang keeps the stories moving at a good pace with dance and slapstick choreographed to keep young audiences engaged—they might even pick up a little Chinese or French. Masks are required, picnic blankets and lawn chairs are encouraged. Fairy Tales in the Sun runs through Sept. 6, with numerous weekend shows at Glen Echo Park, 7300 MacArthur Blvd. (301) 634-2270. adventuretheatre-mtc.org. $20.50 or pay-what-you-want.