Archive for February 24, 2021

Cosmic Fairy Tales author: Rok Vilčnik

ROK VILČNIK is a Slovenian writer, playwright, poet, songwriter and screenwriter, living in Maribor, Slovenia.  He started his career as a painter and earned a BEd in fine arts. Due to a hand injury his career took a turn.  He started writing and has been a freelance writer ever since.  Over thirty productions of his plays have been produced internationally in over six countries. In addition, he has penned three radio dramas, four television series, three books of poetry, three novels, and three children’s plays.  Rok is also a founding member of the popular Slovenian bands Patetico, Papir, and Pliš, and a songwriter for various Slovenian singers.  He was recognized by the city of Maribor for his cultural achievements, particularly for his book of plays, titled American Trilogy, with the Glazer Charter award.  Vilčnik is also a three-time recipient of the Grum Award for Best New Slovenian Play, and a recipient of the Slovenian Noble Comediographer award, and twice a recipient for Best Comedy.  Rok Vilčnik’s TARZAN is in Theatre Gigante’s repertory and was performed by Gigante in Milwaukee during the 2017-18 Season, and in Slovenia in 2019 at the International Slovenian Auteurs Theatre Festival.

Cosmic Fairy Tales visual art & production designer: Justin Thomas

JUSTIN THOMAS is associate professor of theatre and design and chair of the theatre and dance department at Grinnell College. He holds a Master of Fine Arts in theatrical design from the University of Maryland and a Bachelor of Arts in theatre and communication from Kalamazoo College.  At Grinnell, Thomas has been able to pursue two of his greatest passions: teaching and making theatre.  Thomas’ courses run the gamut of theatrical design and technology, theatre history, dramatic literature, and disability, accessibility, and inclusive arts practices. As a professional designer, his work includes lighting, scenery, and projections, which have been produced by the Lincoln Center, Studio Theatre, Arden Theatre Company, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, Round House Theatre, Olney Theatre Center for the Arts, Farmers’ Alley Theatre, Theatre Gigante, Happenstance Theatre, the 21st Century Consort, the Washington National Cathedral, Daniel Phoenix Singh/Dakshina Dance Company, Liz Lerman Dance Exchange, and John Britto Dance Company.  Internationally, Thomas’ work has been presented throughout India, Bangladesh, France, and Russia.

Cosmic Fairy Tales director: Isabelle Kralj

ISABELLE KRALJ works as an auteur, director, choreographer, and performer.  Besides Gigante, she has directed and/or choreographed for, among others, Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, First Stage, DBUS (Ballet Assn. of Slovenia), Florentine Opera, and Door Shakespeare.  Abroad, she has performed in Slovenia, Italy, Croatia, Austria, and Germany.  Isabelle has an MFA and has received a New Choreography Award from the Wisconsin Arts Board, the award of High Artistic Achievement from UWM’s Slovenian Arts Council, and grants from the US State Department, U.S. Embassy in Slovenia, and the Slovenian Ministry of Culture. She has written/created over seventy works, many of them in collaboration with Mark Anderson.

Cosmic Fairy Tales composer & sound designer: Frank Pahl

FRANK PAHL is a Michigan-based musician/composer, working in several styles including “toy pop,” or music made with toys. Frank chose to learn the euphonium (a smaller version of the tuba) in high school. This would be the first of many unusual instruments he would later add to his arsenal, including the harmonium (a pump organ), the ukulele, and the banjo, along with the clarinet, guitar, and piano.  He works primarily in Wyandotte and Ann Arbor, Michigan, and has exhibited his work in Canada, Europe and Japan, as well as the United States.   He has worked in several groups, including Only a Mother, Sublime Wedge, Immigrant Suns, Scavenger Quartet, a freeform musical group.  “Sonic artist” is often the term used to classify Frank Pahl.  Within his stockpile is a collection of toy instruments, a fascination that has developed into the toy-pop chamber trio Little Bang Theory, a “toy” music trio.  The clever, innovative, and unique group is made up of three gifted artists: Frank, Terri Sarris, and Doug Shimmin. Frank is a frequent collaborator with Isabelle, Mark and Theatre Gigante, as is Little Bang Theory — definitely part of the Gigante family!

Cosmic Fairy Tales production team


Written by Rok Vilčnik
Visual Art and Production Design by Justin Thomas
Music by Frank Pahl & Little Bang Theory
Directed by Isabelle Kralj
Production Manager Mark Anderson
Technical Assistants Caulden Parkel and Anna Bundy

Translations prepared by the students of Translation Studies
at the Faculty of Arts, University of Maribor, primarily
Ana Arnejčič
Nejc Golob
under the mentorship of Professor Melita Koletnik,
and Isabelle Kralj

Mark Anderson, Sade Ayodele, Kathryn Cesarz
Marissa Clayton, Nathan Danzer, Mohammad ElBsat
Leslie Fitzwater, Tony Flinn, David Flores
Ron Scot Fry, Rose Grizzell, Megan Kaminsky
Hannah Klapperich-Mueller, Posy Knight, Evan Koepnick
Isabelle Kralj, Diane Lane, Jordan Mackin
A.J. Magoon, Selena Milewski, Peter Mulvey
Frank Pahl, Sheri Williams Pannell, Jason Powell
Nate Press, Craig Quintero, Alessandro Renda
Thomas Simpson, Matt Specht
Shawn Smith, Christine Zufferey