Debut Theatre Company Presents East of the Sun & West of the Moon

Photo by Ross & Jill Cunniff, Poudre Digital LLC

“Be brave, be clever, and be true to your heart. You have traveled far, but the hardest part of a journey is always the next step.”

Once upon a time, a great white bear tapped on a poor man’s cottage window and offered to make him as rich as he was poor in exchange for the company of Lara, his brave and beautiful daughter. So begins one of the most exciting and romantic adventures of all time: The beloved Norwegian folktale, East of the Sun & West of the Moon. The classic fairy-tale tells of a prince bewitched by an evil troll queen and the determined lassie who journeys to the end of the world to find him.

A captivating piece of storytelling, East of the Sun & West of the Moon is one of the most ancient and famous fairy tales globally. The Nordic tale is the predecessor and inspiration for Beauty and the Beast and The Frog Prince. In Scandinavian folklore, elves and trolls live in the forest, and animals can talk and change into humans and back again. Wherever the landscape is wild, and the village’s small and isolated, magic and mystery thrive.

Photo by Ross & Jill Cunniff, Poudre Digital LLC

Although the inspiration for many classic fairy tales, only this original has an empowered young female protagonist, Lara, who must save the prince! Guided only by a broken promise, she journeys to the end of the world, rides the North Wind, and evades the wicked plans of the evil troll Queen. It is an epic story of rags to riches, hags to heroism, trolls and true love, magic, mystery, curses, and quests. A grand adventure to a world of fantasy and imagination. East of the Sun & West of the Moon runs May 7 – 15 at the Lincoln Center Magnolia Theatre.

The journey of East of the Sun & West of the Moon began January 2020 with an anticipated April performance but was abruptly closed. One year later, this will be the first live audience play in the Lincoln Center Magnolia Theatre. Social distancing and masks offer unique challenges but do not dampen the enthusiasm and passion of the Players. Their imagination and collaboration create this fantastic story with puppetry, special effects, and stage magic to bring the words on a page alive on the stage. Unique to the youth arts programs in Fort Collins, Debut boasts a troupe structure where young artists perform and take on the technical aspects of the show. Ranging from being in the light booth to choosing both live and recorded music for the show, the cast does it all. Every member is equally invested and valuable in creating the magic that is live theatre.

Being only one of three troupe structured theatre companies between California and Minnesota, Debut teaches all aspects of the craft to create family theatre for young people by young people. Co-founded in 1991 by siblings Lee Osterhout-Kaplan and Gregg Osterhout, Debut Theatre Company is based in Fort Collins. It is Northern Colorado’s only troupe structured, non-profit, young person’s theatre school and acting company. In addition, it is the only hands-on, year-round, professional children’s theatre in Colorado.

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