A Magical Twist On A Fairytale Favorite

The Elves and the Shoemaker dress rehearsal.

Third Avenue Playhouse and its StageKids Theater program will bring the much-loved story of a shoemaker and a troupe of friendly elves to its Sturgeon Bay stage Dec. 5 – 7 with The Elves and the Shoemaker.

The one-act show will be an original adaptation by Ryan Patrick Shaw, Education Director at Third Avenue Playhouse, as well as his directorial debut. To adapt the classic fairytale, Shaw combed through the story several times and read varying scripts of the show before coming to terms with how he would handle the most magnificent part of the story – the magic.

“The thing that I really liked about this particular production is that I really emphasize that it is a fairytale and I make sure that the students and all the actors in the production know and understand that this is a fairytale,” Shaw said. “We’re telling a story that involves magic. It involves the mystery and joy of magic, creativity and imagination. It’s really fun.”

The Elves and the Shoemaker is a fairytale published in 1806 by German authors and brothers Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm (more often known as “The Brothers Grimm”). They remain some of the best-known authors of 19th century folk tales, having penned childhood favorites Cinderella, The Frog Prince, Hansel and Gretel, Rapunzel, Rumpelstiltskin and Snow White.

The Elves and the Shoemaker follows the story of an honest and hardworking, but very poor, shoemaker who finds himself the unsuspecting recipient of much-needed help from elves who help the shoemaker’s business prosper.

The cast of 15 students (between the ages of six and 18) and two adults will put a special twist on the most magical elements of the show and its themes of thanksgiving and generosity – a perfect, heartwarming mix for the holiday season.

“Much like A Christmas Carol, it involves the story of someone who is well-off. The shoemaker has an interesting journey where he starts off where he’s poor and he becomes affluent because of the gifts of others. The greed that he has comes out and he has a realization of, ‘Oh, right. I was gifted something,’” Shaw said. “It’s about giving back to others and being generous to others.”

“It should be a one-of-a-kind production,” Shaw added. “Very unique to us.”

Performances of The Elves and the Shoemaker will be held Dec. 5 at 7:30pm, Dec. 6 at 2pm and 7:30pm, and Dec. 7 at 2pm at Third Avenue Playhouse, 239 N. Third Ave. in Sturgeon Bay. Tickets are $10 general admission and $5 for children age 11 and younger. For tickets, visit, call 920.743.1760 or visit the daytime box office, 234 N. Third Ave. during regular business hours.