Fidgety once upon a time RGB

…familiar fairy tales were re-imagined as delightful 40-minute musical theatre performances.  Fidgety Fairy Tales – The Mental Health Musicals use gentle humor, great music, and compelling performances by talented youth to raise awareness about children’s mental health.

Our goals are to:

    • Provide accurate information about mental health disorders using clear, accessible language
    • Dispel the myths and reduce the fear and misunderstanding around mental health disorders
    • Portray the strengths and struggles of children with mental health disorders
    • Help families, friends, and communities respond with compassion, understanding, and support

Auditions for our Spring 2018 Season

Now casting youth ages 8 – 18 for our spring production.  Rehearsals run January 14 – March 8, 2018.  Approximately 12 performances throughout the Twin Cities Metro Area between March 11 and April 30.  Actors are paid $20 per performance.

Monday, December 4 @ 6:30- 8:30 PM
Center for Changing Lives; 2400 Park Ave S., Mpls, MN 55404

Tuesday, December 5 @6:30 – 8:30 PM
St. Peter Claver Church; 375 N Oxford St., St. Paul, MN 55104

For more information and to register for one of the audition dates, please go to our online form

Book a performance for your organization!

Since 2008, Fidgety Fairy Tales has had over 250 performances and reached more than 35,000 Minnesotans.  We have traveled throughout Minnesota and are available for some parts of Wisconsin as well. Contact Matt Jenson at for more information about cost and availability.

Available October – November 2018
Deadline to book is May 15, 2018

Three NEW stories about children’s mental health:

  • The Three Billy Goats Gruff (AD/HD)
  • Pinocchio (trauma)
  • King Midas (anxiety)

Please visit Book A Performance for more information and availability.

The opening number from last year’s production at Sumner Library in Minneapolis:


Presenter Handbook now available!

Is your organization interested in bringing Fidgety Fairy Tales to your community but unsure of what is involved in hosting a theatrical production?

Fear not, the answer is here!

Download your free copy of Fidgety Fairy Tales Presenters Handbook


Our brand new Presenter Handbook includes information and worksheets that will help you create a plan to:

  • Identify your audience
  • Build your production team
  • Publicize the performance
  • Engage your community
  • Raise funds

The appendices include samples of:

  • Budgets
  • Publicity (fliers, press releases, calling scripts)
  • A calendar
  • An audience survey
  • Grant language

Fidgety Fairy Tales – The Mental Health Musicals and the Presenter Handbook have been made possible by the voters of Minnesota through grants from the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund.


Since 2008, we have had over 250 performances and reached over 35,000 audience members throughout Minnesota.

We have performed for:Little Hood Tidy RGB

  • elementary,  middle, and high schools
  • churches
  • community centers
  • libraries
  • malls
  • hospitals
  • early childhood family nights
  • art festivals
  • special Olympics events
  • children’s museums
  • residential treatment centers

We have performed at conferences and trainings for professionals:

  • National Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health
  • National Conference on Advancing School Mental Health
  • Children’s Theatre Company’s Neighborhood Bridges National Conference
  • Minnesota School Social Workers Conference
  • Education Minnesota
  • St. Thomas University’s Education for Everyone
  • CASA MN (Guardian ad Litem Conference)
  • Minnesota Social Services Conference
  • Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Practical Review for Primary Care Providers and Mental Health Professionals
  • MACMH’s annual conference for professionals and parents
  • Anoka School District Paraprofessionals
  • Minnesota Division of Early Childhood
  • Minneapolis Early Childhood Special Education



Twenty-seven different fairy tales cover a wide range of children’s mental health disorders and concepts.  Scripts have been reviewed by mental health professionals, parents, and youth with mental health disorders.  Fidgety has been recognized nationally by SAMHSA’s Resource Center to Promote Acceptance, Dignity, and Social Inclusion Associated with Mental Health (ADS Center).  Fidgety has also been recognized as a program of high artistic quality through grants from the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, Minnesota State Arts Board, and the St. Paul Cultural STAR Program.

Mental Health Disorders

AD/HDEmperor RGB
Little Red Riding Hood (2008)

Rumplestiltskin (2013)

Rapunzel (2008)
Robin Hood and His Band of Anxious Men (2015)
The Three Little Pigs (2017)

The Prince and the Pea (2010)
Beauty and the Beast (2013)
The Little Match Girl (2014)

Bipolar Disorder
CinderEdward (2011)

Brain Damage
Jack and the Beanstalk (2012)
The Emperor’s New Clothes (2015)

Sleeping Handsome (2008)
The Snow Queen (2014)
The Princess Who Never Laughed (2016)

Eating Disorders
The Little Mermaid (2012)

Obessive Compulsive DisorderMillie RGB
Goldilocks and the Three Bears (2011)

Reactive Attachment Disorder
The Pied Piper (2013)

Snow White (2012)

Tourette’s Syndrome
Boyd, Who Cried Wolf (2011)

Hansel and Gretel (2010)
Humpty Dumpty (2017)

Mental Health Concepts

The Ugly Duckling (2017)

Collaborative Problem Solving
The Frog Prince (2010)

Coping with Grief
The Myth of Demeter and Persephone (2015)

Objects of Inspiraton (Disablism)
Brave Tailor Little (2016)

Sensory Processing
The Sensational Hercules (2016)

Bluebeard (2015)

Creative Team

Matt Jenson – Playwright/Co-Director In addition to being the Director of Arts Programming at MACMH, Matt is also a Teaching Artist at the Childen’s Theatre Company and was a faculty member of the University of Minnesota Department of Theatre Arts and Dance for fourteen years.  His work has been supported by the McKnight Foundation, the Minnesota State Arts Board, and the Jerome Foundation.

Marya Hart – Composer/Lyricist/Co-Director Marya Hart is a composer, pianist and music director, specializing in vocal and theatrical music.  After many years in blues, jazz and western swing bands and extensive work as a theatre music director and pianist, she began serious composition in 2005 and has since created eight major music theatre pieces in addition to incidental music, religious and secular songs, and a continuous stream of music for students at Children’s Theatre Company in Minneapolis, where she is a teaching artist.

Fidgety in the News

MinnPost – “Fidgety Fairy Tales use song and dance to humanize mental disorders for adults and children.”

Kare 11 – “Fairy Tales Helping Reduce Mental Illness Stigma”

Psychiatric News – “Kids Learn What Can Follow `Once Upon a Time…'”

Minneapolis Star Tribune – “A New Take on Fairy Tales”

Insight – Lee Valsvik’s radio interview with director Matt Jenson and actor Jared Smith

For more information about attending a performance, booking a show, or producing your own version of “Fidgety Fairy Tales,” please contact Matt Jenson at or 651-644-7333.

All photos by V. Paul Virtucio

This activity has been made possible by the voters of Minnesota through grants from the Metropolitan Regional Arts Council, thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts and cultural heritage fund, the Minnesota State Arts Board, and Target Stores

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