Fitcher’s Bird

Ten Minute Adaptation – No Set – 1 Man, 1 Woman

Photos courtesy of Hardcover Theater, Minneapolis, MN

Commissioned By: Hardcover Theater

Description: Fitcher’s Bird is an adaptation of the Grimms’ Fairy Tale of the same name. This tale is one of the grisliest of the classic folk stories.

Synopsis: Fitcher is a great wizard who owns a magical sack he uses to capture three young sisters. When he releases the Oldest, Middle, and Youngest sisters in his enchanted, locked house, he gives them a spotless egg. Each sister then has free reign to enter every room – save for one forbidden space. Naturally the Oldest and Middle sisters both enter this taboo room, and they drop the egg into a basin of blood. When Fitcher sees the blood spots on the egg, he hacks them both to pieces. But the Youngest sister realizes the egg is a trap, and begins a plan to free herself, and her dead sisters, from Fitcher.

This script is not recommended for young audiences.

Why It Was Written: Hardcover Theater produced an evening of original short plays called The Dark Side of the Brothers Grimm. The theater tasked a group of us playwrights to adapt some of the grisliest tales. I discovered this more obscure one that seems intended to warn young girls about murderers. I liked it because instead of a charming prince saving the day, the Youngest daughter tricks and defeats Fitcher.

The play also became an experiment in minimalism, as the production needed to keep costs low. So my original five character play became a two character play. Then the play was too long (all the short plays had to be performed in about 75 minutes), so I really had to cut down the script too. But all these limitations really helped me focus on the story, and play now requires exactly what it needs – two actors, no set, and the audience’s imagination.

Read the First 5 Pages: Script Sample