When Koshchei the Deathless abducts Firebird to satisfy the whim of Princess Irenka, the Principality of Zhar is laid waste and Irenka is turned into a wolf. Guided by Baba Yaga, Irenka and Prince Ivan set out to free Firebird and restore Zhar to its former glory. Obstacles are placed in the way of this goal by the Magician Koshchei and his two-headed cyborg dragon Rimsky Dimsky. But Irenka and Ivan prevail at last and the play ends in celebration and marriage. (From the CPO Website)
Ivan — ruler of Zhar, naïve and overconfident of his abilities
Irenka — his fiancée , extremely self-centered, vain and, like Ivan, lacking in wisdom and Judgement
Baba Yaga — Wise Woman with some magic powers and a big fund of common sense to pass on to Ivan and Irenka (in the German production this role was played by a man, according to Russian stage tradition)
Koshchei the Deathless — Villain
Rimsky / Dimsky — two headed cyborg dragon. They are chatty, timid and longing to be free.
Firebird — non-speaking dancing role, male or female
1990, Maenad Productions at the Pumphouse Theatre
Available through the CPO Website.
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– This play is very flexible in terms of the casting.
– When it was put on in East Germany, Baba Yaga was played by a man and Rimsky and Dimsky were played by women.
– In the Guelph Little Theatre production, the prince and princess roles were both played by women and the dragons were played by a man and a woman. The only change to the script was that Prince Ivan became Princess Alexa.
– Firebird could definitely be danced by anyone from the categories below who can dance.
– And as for the dragons, there are no limits. And that in fact might go for all of the characters–if you can imagine it you can do it. I would like the dragons to remain together as a single unit on stage until they are freed at the end of the play.