Steinhardt Celebrates 200 Years of Grimms’ Tales and the Art of Storytelling

In 1812, fairy tale history was made. Rapunzel, the beautiful maiden with the long golden locks, first let down her hair. Hansel and Gretel, the two young children abandoned in the woods, took their first bite of gingerbread house; and Rumpelstilzchen, the evil imp who spun straw into gold for the miller’s daughter, collected his debt and fled the kingdom with her first-born child.

This year, NYU Steinhardt’s Department of Music and Performing Arts Professions, and its program in educational theatre, celebrates these fictional milestones and German brothers, Wilhelm and Jacob Grimm, the brothers who collected and published the first editions of these childhood tales, and the approximately 200 imaginative stories that came to be known as Grimms’ Fairy Tales. The first edition of the Grimms’ Tales, “Children’s and Household Tales” was published on Dec. 20, 1812, followed by six more editions between then and 1857. The Grimms’ Tales have been translated into more than 150 languages.

“To honor the 200th anniversary of the publication of the Tales, our fall storytelling series, ‘The Grimms’ Tales and Beyond: A Festival of Fairy Tales,’ focuses on the Brothers Grimm and will feature widely different storytellers, styles, and stories,” said Regina Ress, adjunct professor of educational theatre and producer of the series at Provincetown Playhouse. “Fairy tales, while popular with children are equally important for adults. They embody deep lessons, clues on how to understand, rebalance and live our lives. They appeal to all ages.”

On Sunday Oct. 21, two of New York City’s most popular storytellers, Linda Humes and Julia Morris, will be telling Grimms’ Tales, taking audience members on an interactive and playful journey through the diverse story terrain of the Brothers Grimm. Tales such as “The Fisherman and His Wife” and “The Frog Prince” will come to life through telling, song, chant, and a bit of dance! The final event in the series, “Unlocking Nine Locks: Not Grimms’—Tales from Elsewhere,” is slated for Sunday, Nov. 4, and will feature internationally acclaimed storyteller, Laura Simms.

According to Ress, storytelling is one of the oldest and purest art forms.

“Stories generally are learned, not memorized, allowing for shifts, play and interplay, and the unexpected,” Ress explained. “It is a risky art because, when done well, it is truly an in-the-moment-art. Storytelling entertains. Storytelling teaches. Storytelling challenges. Storytelling transforms. Storytelling heals. And storytelling is lots of fun!”

About The Provincetown Playhouse
Located at 133 McDougal St. near Washington Square, the Provincetown Playhouse holds a long tradition of presenting both cutting edge and classic performance art. In 2000, NYU Steinhardt created a unique, professional storytelling series which showcases world class storytelling. This yearly series has featured some of the world’s best loved storytellers from the U.S. and abroad. It offers programming for all ages and members of the wider Greenwich Village and New York City community. To learn more about Provincetown Playhouse, visit:http://www.provincetownplayhouse.com/home.html.