or those who think The Tales of Andergrimm might be a project for their drama group, this technical information will tell you just what players you will need, how many altos, singing male characters, and so on. The Contact page provides information so that you can request a reading copy of the play.

Characters & Casting Settings Costume Suggestions Show Length Musical Accompaniment Licensing Info

Characters & Casting
The cast objective in Andergrimm was to give a number of players the opportunity to be featured, rather than focus on one “star” performer. The total number of characters in the show is 18. The list below includes the voice part of the featured singers, and those featured singers/rappers appear in bold.

Be sure to visit the Photo gallery to see the characters described below. The Music page will let you hear clips of the songs these characters sing in the show.

Character Ed – jovial, friendly narrator who talks directly to the audience; starts our tale, but then isn’t seen until end (baritone or alto – 2 solo sections)
Hansel – young boy who loves his father and abides by his mother, looks out for little sister (baritone, or girl or unchanged male voice up the octave – 3 solos, harmony in duets)
Gretel – young girl, fairly nervous about the world, loves her father, relies on her brother (soprano – 3 duets including harmony, 1 short solo)
H&G Mother – self-centred woman who cares little for her two children and only slightly more for her husband
H&G Father – hen-pecked woodcutter who tries to do his best by his demanding wife and two children he loves dearly (baritone – 2 solos and duet melody against harmony)
Witch – nasty woman who lives alone in the woods, feeding on lost children (alto – 1 solo)
Rumpelstiltskin – slightly sleazy, flamboyant elf-like creature who can somehow accomplish impossible feats (rapper – 3 solos, rap or spoken)
Brigit – teenage girl who loves her family (soprano – 2 solos)
King – uncaring ruler who is only after wealth and power
Guard – quiet dependable servant to the king
Brigit’s mother – good-hearted woman who sometimes gets carried away, proud of her daughter
Royal hunter – serves the king
Mother duck – Basically good but harried mother
Ugly duckling – young persecuted duck (bigger than the other ducks), tries his/her best to develop a thick skin (mezzo – 2 solos and countermelody opposite ducks)
Mean duckling – the bully, enjoys picking on others (alto – solo, duet against countermelody)
2nd duckling – a brash follower (soprano or alto)
3rd duckling – a timid follower who has second thoughts, not totally with the “in” crowd (soprano or alto)
Swan – caring passer-by

Casting Option
If you don’t have this many players or strong singers, you might want to consider the following Casting Option, which brings your cast size down to 12 players.

• 4 males (3 non-featured singers – one is featured rapper)
• 5 females (2 non-featured singers)
• 3 either gender (all featured singers)

Featured singers in bold

Character Ed/Mean duckling – male or female; 3 solo sections and duet with 2nd part
Hansel - male (baritone or unchanged voice up the octave) or female; 3 solos, harmony in duets
Gretel – (small) female, featured; 3 duets with Hansel, including harmony, 1 short solo
H&G Father/Royal hunter (baritone) – male; 2 solos and duet melody against harmony
H&G Mother/Swan – female; sings with ensemble
Witch/2nd duckling – female (alto); 1 solo, 1 duet/trio
Rumpelstiltskin – male; 3 solos but rap or spoken rather than sung
Brigit – female; 2 solos
Brigit’s mother/Mother duck – female; ensemble singing only
King – male; ensemble singing only
Ugly Duckling – male or female; 2 solos and sings countermelody opposite ducks
Guard/3rd duckling –male; ensemble singing

1. Hansel and Gretel’s rough cottage home, exterior and interior
2. Town square
3. Forest clearing
4. Sugar candy house, exterior and/or interior (could be H & G’s cottage with added “candy” covering
5. Barred section in candy house interior or outer garden
6. King’s tower room in castle, with a window
7. Travelway – pathway around audience is used a number of times throughout

For the original production, scenes were painted on canvas-wrapped wooden “pages” and turned by stage crew, as though they were turning the pages of a storybook, to display the various settings. Visit the Photo gallery for a look at some of these “pages,” designed by Janet Ness.

Costume Suggestions
Basic peasant garb for most characters, consisting of white/cream tops for all and drab-coloured and rumpled pants for men, knickers for Hansel, skirts for girls and women. This “base” layer will also allow these characters to perform prop movements between scenes relatively unnoticed.
Because there are three stories going on in alternating scenes, you may wish to have characters in each separate story all wear a piece of distinct clothing (vest or shawl, etc.) of the same colour family, e.g. characters in Hansel and Gretel storyline are all in various shades of blue, while Rumpelstiltskin story-characters are all in shades of yellow and orange, etc. These would be worn over top of the drab “base” layer, so most characters playing more than one role can switch easily. If this is not desirable, ensure at least that villains are in very different tones from one another, and heroes/heroines are different from one another in order to help the young audience members to keep everyone straight.
King should be dressed grandly, guard in something that suggests that occupation.
Rumpelstiltskin should be dressed bizarrely, perhaps along the lines of a court jester crossed with a tacky salesmen.
Ducks could be dressed in a matching base of brown/beige with simple wings and brown hoods (or balaclavas?) to cover hair. Add beaks if they do not interfere with voice projection. Orange flipper feet could add a lot of comedy if they don’t make movement too tricky.
As Ugly D. begins to turn into swan, make change gradual. Change brown hood and wings to white hood, then for next stage, change white shirt as well, put hair up, etc.

Be sure to check out the Photo gallery to see some of the wonderful costumes created by Jill LaPlante for the original production.

Show Length
When the original production was presented, it was performed with no intermission and ran to 1 hour, 20 minutes. There are several ways in which to shorten the play, though an hour is probably the absolute minimum time it would take, and cuts to that length would require cutting songs as well as scenes, diminishing the play.

The show could also be done as a two act musical which, including a 15-minute intermission, would fill about 1 hour, 45 minutes.

The song list on the Music page indicates the length of each song.

Musical Accompaniment

Digital CD Accompaniment
Since many young companies do not have a resident orchestra or band to accompany them, the playwright produced a CD accompaniment for the original production. This can be made available to any group interested in mounting the show.

As well, the music files are digital and so can be modified if, for example, a player in your cast needs his or her solo raised or lowered a tone in order to be comfortable. Please note that this is often not possible with duets and trios since it might place the other parts out of reasonable range. (A one-time fee would be charged for this service to cover the arranger’s time.)

Scores for the vocal lines only of all of the songs would be provided and, if desired, you can request a rehearsal CD with soloists parts highlighted for individual players.

Score for Live Ensemble
If your group has a musical ensemble, you may wish to receive the full score, in addition to the vocal scores. The primary instruments are piano, bass, flute, trumpets and drum kit, though the score includes lines for additional instruments on certain songs (harmonica for the blues numbers, trombone for the soft-show, strings for the lullaby, guitars for the rock and roll, etc.). A complete list of instruments per song is provided below:

Choose to be Good – piano, percussion, trumpet, tenor sax
Responsibility – piano, flute, trombone
Cooperation - piano
Gotta Be Brave – piano, percussion, aux. percussion (guiro)
What’s in it for Me? – horns, bass, percussion
Sleep Tonight – flutes, cello, bass
Alone – piano, bass
He Lied to Me – piano, flute
Maybe – piano, bass
Just Don’t Care/Alone – piano, bass, timpani
Feel for ya, Baby – harmonica (or piano), bass, percussion
Rump Rap – bass, aux. percussion (cowbell, congas, agogo, bongos, whistle)
Respect – guitar, bass, percussion
Don’t Feel for ya, Baby – harmonica (or piano), bass drums
Maybe (reprise) – piano, bass
Alone (reprise) – piano

Licensing Info
You can pay to obtain a performance licence that will allow your group to perform The Tales of Andergrimm for either ticketed audiences and/or flat-fee group audiences. You will be required to pay for rental of scripts and scores (one per player, in accordance with copyright laws), all of which must be returned in good condition. (You will be billed a reasonable fee for missing or defaced scripts and scores after the materials are returned.)

Licencing fees are as follows: (all amounts are Canadian dollars)

Flat-fee or free group performances
$75 for first performance
$50 each performance thereafter

Ticketed performances
10% of total ticket sales (information about size of performance venue required)

Please contact directly for rental costs and all other information.