Ralph, who wrote An Old Forest Fairy Tale with her daughter Janie, describes the play as being autobiographically inspired. “It’s about a little girl who lives near the old forest and who really likes fairies,” she says.
The little girl is eventually sucked into the fairy world only to discover it’s nothing like the images she’s seen in illustrations of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. She finds herself on the road with a troupe of traveling actors including a planet (Pluto, the smallest), a whale, and a polar bear. One of the stock plays the company performs is called The Saving of the Old Forest, about how a group of “old women in tennis shoes” stopped a bulldozer from knocking down the trees to make way for an interstate.
“It’s performed as an operetta,” says Ralph, an accomplished musician and composer. “The little girl doesn’t know the story, but the fairies all do.”
Voices of the South’s Children’s Theatre Festival also features performances by several companies including Theatre Memphis’ ShoWagon, Cazateatro, Delta Arts, Germantown Community Theatre, the Wood and Strings Theatre, and the Incredible String Puppet Theatre.