The Snow Queen
Based on the story by Hans Christian Andersen
Adapted for the stage by Vivian Snipes for Lexington Children’s Theatre
The Prince and Princess
forbidding ... from entering the castle during the dangerous dreams that come alive during Midsummer’s Night.... becomes flustered and can only repeat the last word the Guard speaks. A dangerous dream shadow rushes past, verifying the Guard’s story. He tells that the dreams are softening now that the Princess has found a Prince. The Princess’s suitors all stood on the front step only repeating the last word they heard until a shabby young man finally pleased the Princess and is to marry her. Hearing the description, ... sidesteps the Guard’s watchful eye to the see the young man for herself.
...is accosted by the dreams; ... cries wake the Princess and Prince. The Prince is not Kai, and the Princess is enraged by the disruption. The Princess demands Gerda be taken to the dungeon, but the Prince convinces her to let Gerda stay to allow her dreams to explain her presence. The Princess obliges. Gerda’s dreams reflect her journey and in her dream Gerda sees Kai and the Snow Queen. Kai is alive, completing a task for the Snow Queen. The Snow Queen questions Kai, asking him why he chooses to stay. Kai cannot think clearly with the shard still in his heart. He continues to work and Gerda wakes, ready to continue her search. The Prince and Princess are reluctant to let Gerda go, warning her of the dangers in the Namdalen Forest. They send the Guard with her to protect from the threat of cannibalistic Robbers in the Forest.
The Little Robber Girl
Gerda twists her ankle, forcing them to rest. They are surrounded
by the Robbers, who speak a foreign language. The Guard stabs Gudrun, leader of the Robbers, and she quickly disarms him. The Robbers begin chanting a sacrificial ritual and Gudrun kills the Guard, as Jorelie and the Wild Hunt come to claim his soul.
The Robbers rejoice and Gudrun asks her tribe if they should kill
the girl next. Her death is agreed upon, and the Robbers begin
their ritual once more. During the ritual, Gudrun’s daughter, Ylva,
attacks her mother. Ylva wants to keep Gerda as a pet. Gudrun is
ultimately pleased by the strength of Ylva and allows her to keep
Gerda as long as she is useful. The Robbers begin to feast on
the body of the Guard. Ylva falls asleep, holding Gerda.
(No honeymoon in the final story)
A Closer Look at The Snow Queen
The characters found in The Snow Queen are not typical, even today.
(Gerda) encounters and is assisted in her journey by many other strong, primarily female characters, which is something that is not common, even for stories today. Gerda is cared for by her grandmother, helped by witches, protected by a robber girl who is also a child, and given clothing and a guide by a princess. Even the antagonist of the story, the Snow Queen, is a woman. In fact, the only male character with a position of power is the Prince, who was chosen by his wife, the Princess.
Learn a Little Swedish
LCT’s production of The Snow Queen utilizes the Swedish language for the trolls and the robbers. Swedish is a Nordic language derived from Old Norse.