The Elizabeth Ney museum on E. 44th Street in Hyde Park is already haunted. A crowd of stark white plaster figures and busts stand in the shabby shaddows of the odd small Austin-stone castle that was Ney's final residence in studio from 1902 to 1907. Among them is a bust of German writer and philologist Jacob Grimm that she sculpted of the old man in Berlin in the 1850's.
Grimm would have approved of Kattherine Craft's Story Seekers. He and his brother Wilhelm were Germany's most famous folklorists, seeking out and transcribing the vivid and often nightmarish imaginings of simple folk in the forests and farms. Tales those folks told to their children and to one another weren't the Disneyfied lore of Cinderella or sweet Hansel and Gretel. The stories spoke of abuse, menace, dark woods, shape changers and really really wicked stepmothers. An essential message was that the world was full of dangers, so children had really better watch out.
Director Rachel Wiese from the Exchange Artists has assembled some of Austin's most attractive and dedicated young adult theatre artists for this piece. With a pass of her director's magic wand and a consensus of the cast, she has transformed them into children, aged probably from eight to twelve.