Skittish and fearful Kate is required to take a long and dangerous journey to Foggy Mountain. Her goal is to find a treasure, enabling her and her mother to pay the long overdue rent. If payment is not made by the next day, they will be evicted.
Kate and her faithful cat, Oh-tot, meet three monsters on the way: the bully Bigfat,
Kate and Oh-tot begin their journey.
the vainglorious Berrybush, and the fearsome Dragon.
The monster, Bigfat, sneaks up on Kate and Oh-tot.
She counters their threats with wit and bravery. Finally, asleep atop Foggy Mountain, the monsters haunt her nightmare.
The Dragon, cannot catch the Duck.
He then threatens to eat Oh-tot.
The morning finds her purged and realizing her own bravery. She now views the world with joy and appreciation.
Back home, she has a happy reunion with her mother, but sadly reports she couldn’t find the treasure. The landlord arrives demanding the rent payment. Her mother has a surprise for both Kate and the landlord.
— Historical Background —
The music for the eight songs in Scaredy-Kate and the Monsters were written by Josef Haydn. The tunes were originally written as part of his marionette opera, “Die Feuerbrunst” (Das Adgebrannte Haus) [The Burning House].
Haydn enjoyed a residency with the Esterházy monarchy, from 1776 to 1778. During this time, he wrote 12 marionette operas. The overture and exit music comes from the fifth movement of Haydn’s Trio #4.
Demian’s original idea for the marionette opera was to reproduce Haydn’s opera, however, the text was so sexist, and characters so inconsistent, that he decided to start fresh with a new story.
Each of the play’s six string puppets and four hand puppets took Demian between 60-to-80 hours to fabricate. Altogether, the story, lyrics, and puppet construction for Scaredy-Kate took six months to complete.
Scaredy-Kate had a well-received premiere as a live marionette performance at Seattle’s 1982 Bumbershoot Festival.
At that time, it was performed by three puppeteers to a prerecorded sound track featuring the singing voices of Gregg Carder, Demian, Betty Gaskill, Peter Kechley, Charles Sherwood and Kay Shirey. Instrumentalists included Steve Bryant, Doug Hjelm, Fred Inman, Peggy Monroe and James West.
The current video project has a newly-recorded sound track. For a list of the new performers and their biographies, please see the The Company.