top of page


Make Believe

The Theatrical debut of Make Believe by Dalrymple was produced by Paul Emery and had its world premiere in Nevada City, California, January 25th 2019 at the Nevada Theater.

The Middle Kingdom

The theatrical debut of The Middle Kingdom by Dalrymple had its world premier in Grass Valley, California February 19th 2015 at the Center For The Arts. 


make believe


Make Believe is an archetypal fairy tale which studies the duel nature of darkness and light. It takes place in a late 19th century dilapidated orphanage run by the negligent, Agnes Pumpernickel. Within its decayed and moldering walls live six eccentric sisters, Wendel, Wanda, Winky, Florence, Fern and Fand. Little do the sisters realize they are actually otherworldly daughters of a goodly Fairy, Theodora Willowand. 

Out of pure spite, Theodora’s Malevolent twin brother, Thistlethorn Witherwand, kidnaps his nieces and brings them through the veil, leaving them on the battered steps of Agnes’s orphanage. There he disguises himself as the gardener, Alfred Abernathy, keeping a scrupulous eye on the girls to ensure they never discover the true nature of their origins. 

Meanwhile Theodora inadvertently sacrifices her eyesight in order to summon the mystical guardian of each daughter and one by one The Green Man, The Great God Pan, GogMagog, Willy Wonka and Baba Yaga pierce through the veil and bring the girls home. Thistlethorn’s poisonous intentions became ever more sinister as the sisters begin to disappear. By the end, Thistlethorn and Theodora succumb to their fate by drinking of each other’s tears. Each twin dies the death of one dimensionality, unashamed of the light and unafraid of the dark.

Dalrymple -

"Children grow up believing whole heartily in the most unbelievable things. So how is it we ever lose faith in the power of our imagination? My wish with Make Believe is to remind the audience, magic not only exists, it also contains an inescapable soul, which has in fact never left us. I began writing the play with its six characteristic sisters and soon after I was surprised to learn that a similar family of six sisters did in fact live next door to two of the most imminent folklorists of the 19th century; the Brothers Grimm. 

From these sisters the brothers collected many of the fairy tales we know of today such as Rumpelstilzchen, The Singing Bone, Cinderella, Hansel and Gretel, Rapunzel, Sleeping Beauty, etc. This strangely synchronistic turn of events has made me believe there is a deeper meaning guiding the Make Believe fairy tale. In a humble effort to thank these women for sharing their enduring and enchanting stories, I graciously dedicate Make Believe to The Sisters Wild."

Dramatis Personæ

Theodora Willowand - Represents all that is purity and goodness. She is the mother of six daughters and twin sister to Thistlethorn. 
Thistlethorn Witherwand - Represents all that is poison and malevolence. Twin Brother to Theodora. 
Wendel - The eldest of the six sisters, A painter and mother hen.
Wanda - The oddball whose language is one of riddles.
Winky - The prim and proper toadstool tea drinker.
Florence - The flowery footed cartwheeling dancer.
Fern - The salt pinching superstitious finger crosser.
Fand - The definition of bookworm.

Agnes Pumpernickel - The proprietor of the lonely Bird Nest Orphanage. 
Alfred Abernathy - Gardner at The Lonely Bird Nest orphanage. 
Willoughby Wisp - The lantern man of Wicken Fen. 
The Green Man - Disgorger of Midsummer destinies.
The Great God Pan - Arcadian piper at the gates of dawn.
GogMagog - British beanstalk giants of cosmic dimensions.
Willy Wonka - The ineffable chocolate trickster ferryman.
Baba Yaga - The chicken foot dwelling mother of iron teethed witches.

Selected Bibliography


middle kingdom