Play Review and Evaluation for The Fabulous Fable Factory by Joseph Robinette

“The Fabulous Fable Factory” by Joseph Robinette is a work of what is
commonly known aschildren’s theater.’ An individual unfamiliar with this
genre of theater might simply assume a work of children’s theater to be a
dumbed down’ version of adult theater.This might be particularly the
case in terms of “The Fabulous Fable Factory,” when such an individual
heard that the narrative of the play was one in which Aesop’s fables were
retold in a modern context. However, the use of a fable-like structure for
this work of children’s theater is actually a brilliant, creative, and
strikingly interactive choice of a plot.Fables by their very nature are
interactive tales, where the reader, or in this case, the audience member,
is asked to become part of the story of the tale, passing judgment upon the
actions of the character and engaging in an active learning process.This
interactive process is truly what is at the heart of children’s theater.
The acting of the play is extremely presentational.Rather than
attempting to embody the character in aMethod’ sense, the actors present
their stock characters in a very self-conscious way, asking the audience to
pass judgment upon them.The play is set in an abandoned factory where the
factory’s machinery, an assembly line of different individuals, come to
life to enact fabulous fables. The set design of the factory is also not
realistic, but encourages the audience to use its collective imagination to
create a factory environment, and to invest importance in the stories told,
and the fictional conceit that there can be such a thing as a factory of
stories.Thus the set design supports the direction of the actors, the
acting, and the narrative of the story.
But the striking things about witnessing this play, as typical of
children’s theater in general, is the way the audience is encouraged, not
to sit in silence, but to beco…