Dramatic fantasy. Adapted by Ric Averill. From the Brothers Grimm fairy tale.
Cast: 8m., 4w., 36 either gender. Doubling possible. In this fanciful and charming reframing of the traditional story of the shoemaking elves, the central character is Gunther, an old shoemaker. War rages across Europe and, somewhere in the midst of that conflict, Gunther has lost his only son. Gunther has also lost his will to work and instead waits for the daily casualty lists, sharing with his friend, the tailor, a growing dread. The same war claims the mother of a precocious boy named Peter. Elves grant the wish of the dying mother that Peter will live and be protected and cared for. A soldier brings Peter to Gunther, who reluctantly takes him as an apprentice. The elves watch over Peter and magically make shoes to the delight of the boy and the consternation of Gunther. The magical events turn the entire town topsy-turvy and gradually soften the heart of Gunther, who finds in the boy the son he has lost. Area staging. Approximate running time: 75 minutes.