The University of Winnipeg



Fairy tale takes life in play

A pair of worn leather suitcases, open clothes dresser and white silhouette of a man on an empty stage. A brown tree silhouette is in the background.

Set design by Shy Pattie for The Secret in the Wings.

Imagination and adventure await in The University of Winnipeg’s Department of Theatre and Film presentation of The Secret in the Wings by Mary Zimmerman. This inventive exploration of lesser known fairy tales confronts our fears and discovers the power of kindness with humour and wit.

Storytelling is innate to us as human beings and in this production we celebrate creativity by using the amazing talents of the cast.

Hope McIntyre

The production is performed by the Acting III: Honours class and directed by UWinnipeg faculty member Hope McIntyre.  The Secret in the Wings runs from Tuesday, February 14 to Saturday, February 18 at the Asper Centre for Theatre and Film. 

Using Zimmerman’s analogy of playing in the backyard as children, the actors’ imaginations run wild to bring these stories to life with narration, movement, song, and visual imagery.

“Storytelling is innate to us as human beings and in this production we celebrate creativity by using the amazing talents of the cast,” says McIntyre. “The actors each play multiple characters with the enthusiasm of children playing dress up.”

Zimmerman is an acclaimed American writer and director of theatre specializing in the adaptation of classic stories of world literature for the stage.

In an interview, she shared: “I start a show with no script, but I start with a group of actors, an opening date, and a set design. I think that something is inevitable in my process.”

She is known for plays that are described as visual poetry due to their incorporation of vivid storytelling. Her play Metamorphosis won a Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Play and Direction in 2002. She also won an Outer Critics Circle and Tony Award for Direction of this same play. She teaches Performance Studies at Northwestern University.

The University of Winnipeg’s production features costume design by student Amelia Carlson, set design by student Shy Pattie, and lighting design by professional Larry Isacoff. All technical work is done by both junior and senior production students.

The Secret in the Wings runs Tuesday, February 14 through Saturday, February 18 at 7:30 p.m. each evening. Admission is free, but reservations are recommended. Please visit UWinnipeg’s Department of Theatre and Film or call the 24-hour reservation line at 204.786.9152.

Mature content warning: see the production’s webpage for full information.

Based in the Asper Centre for Theatre and Film at The University of Winnipeg, the Department of Theatre and Film offers concentrations in acting, design, drama in education, filmmaking, playwriting, and production/stage management. Our classes are small and our approach is practical. Our faculty is comprised of highly respected and award-winning professionals who are experienced teachers and remain active in their disciplines, bringing relevant and up-to-date instruction to our students. 

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