By R. Rex Stephenson.
Cast: 1m., 9w., up to 10 extras of either gender. When we think of Appalachian storytelling, we tend to think of Jack's tales and stalwart heroes like Wicked John. But the mountains have their feisty heroines too, and Grandmother Tales is a celebration of two of these free spirits, Mutsmag and Ashpet. Grandmother, who gathers her young'uns with a song and a dulcimer (or a guitar, if that's what you have), narrates in the best story theatre tradition. She invites her listeners to take roles as undertakers, ugly sisters, trees, horses and even a fireplace. The stories she shares are of Mutsmag, derived from Scottish folklore and sometimes known as Molly Whuppie and sometimes as Muncimag, and Ashpet, a southern Appalachian Cinderella. Mutsmag and Ashpet go together as a full evening of theater, but if performed separately, they are an ideal length for a school assembly or competition. Approximate running time: 50 minutes (Mutsmag: 30 minutes, Ashpet: 20 minutes).