Ancient stories come to life

Chinese folk tale aimed at older set of children

Chinese folk tale aimed at older set of children

February 06, 2009|By TIFFANY ARNOLD

FREDERICK, Md. - A Chinese folk tale about an artist and her magic paintbrush will come to life on the Maryland Ensemble Theatre's stage.

The MET's kid-friendly wing, The Fun Company, will debut "Ma Lien and the Magic Paintbrush" on Saturday, Feb. 14.

The MET's associate artistic director, Gen Fouch, wrote the stage adaptation of "Ma Lien." Ensemble member Allison Lepelletier directed the play.

In the play, which is about 50-minutes long, a young artist named Ma Lien (pronounced Mah LEE-in) loses her paint-brush, but she receives a brush with magical powers in a dream.

She soon discovers that anything she paints comes to life. All is well until the emperor learns about her gift and asks her to paint him a mountain of gold.


Ma Lien manages to fulfill the request and stay true to her heart - to the chagrin of the emperor.

Fouch said staging the adaptation was an attempt to appeal to an older set of children and offer stories that were more diverse.

"We've done the Cinderellas, the American folk tales," Fouch said. "We just wanted to explore some other cultures."

But children won't have to travel across the globe to understand the play's message, "that we shouldn't be too greedy in this world and that we should seek things that come from our hearts," Fouch said.

Shows continue most Saturdays through April 4. The Fun Company will premiere an original piece, "No Bullies Allowed," Saturday, April 25.

If you go ...

WHAT: "Ma Lien and the Magic Paintbrush," presented by The Fun Company, the kid-friendly wing of the Maryland Ensemble Theatre

WHEN: Debuts 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 14. Shows continue through Saturdays through February; Saturday March 7, 14, and 28; and Saturday, April 4.

WHERE: Maryland Ensemble Theatre, 31 W. Patrick St., Frederick, Md.

COST: $13.50, all seats. For tickets, call the box office at 301-694-4744 or go to

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