Publication Date

Spring 2015

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts (MFA)


English and Comparative Literature


David Kahn


Bluebeard, musical, script

Subject Areas



THE SORCERER KING is a musical stage adaptation of Charles Perrault’s fairytale

“Bluebeard." In a kingdom loosely based on eighteenth-century France, young courtier Catherine unwittingly falls for King Damien, the young monarch whose wife mysteriously disappeared years ago. Meanwhile, peasant Anne, Catherine’s friend, secretly plots a rebellion against whom she perceives as a cruel and apathetic king. As Catherine and Damien’s relationship quickly culminates in marriage, political tensions between the rich and poor rise. Catherine must confront the patriarchal barriers of her station as queen, as well as her own naiveté, to prevent civil war—and learn the truth about her husband.

This project began as a challenge to “Disneyfy” the tale of Bluebeard, an engaging exercise that revealed the sharp differences between the violence of original fairytales and the conflicting expectations of children’s entertainment. Since then, the piece has taken on a surprising life of its own as certain themes and characters matured, creating a surprising mix of lighthearted comedy with heavy, dark dilemmas. Relevant to today’s political climate, The Sorcerer King explores themes of status, responsibility, and the nature of authority. Tonally, the musical offers simple, enjoyable pieces alongside dramatic, sometimes morbid songs.