Private Project

Madame Modjeska's Fairytale

Whimsical and imaginative, this hybrid physical theater/animation film combines Victorian fantasy characters set against the canyons surrounding “Arden”. Inspired by a fairytale created by the great Polish Shakespearean actress Helena Modjeska after relocating to the wild west of Southern California in 1890.

  • Annie Loui
    Falling Girl (with Scott Snibbe) 2008
  • Annie Loui (adaptation of book by Mme Modjeska)
  • Dion Sorrell
  • CounterBalance Theater
  • Ellen Dubin
    Key Cast
    "Narrator (Mme Modjeska)"
    The multi-award nominated theater trained Ellen Dubin has enjoyed a unique career from being a sci fi cult figure as the iconic Giggerota in the international hit LEXX, to playing the series lead in the highly acclaimed supernatural drama THE COLLECTOR (CSA nom), to delighting audiences in the biggest comedy of all time- NAPOLEON DYNAMITE, or playing a host of TV guest star roles and Lifetime movies! Her powerful voice can be heard in: FALLOUT 4 (BTVA win), SKYRIM, WORLD OF WARCRAFT, SKYFORGE (SOVAS nom). She is honored to be the current voice of the 60th ANNIVERSARY OF DISNEYLAND, WORLD OF COLOR and Captain Phasma in STAR WARS RESISTANCE and LEGO STAR WARS.
  • Skye Schmidt
    Key Cast
    "Nunu , Sylia and animals"
    Skye Schmidt is an LA-based movement artist and photographer ( She trained at Southland Ballet Academy and UC Irvine, performed professionally with Festival Ballet Theatre, BalletRED, MultiplexDance, ContempoArtsProductions, and Re:BorN, and is currently Director of Operations for HAVEN Global Sanctuary for Dance, a platform for artistic mentorship.
  • Thomas Varga
    Key Cast
    "Titi, Mamora, and animals"
    Thomas Steven Varga is an LA-based actor and acting coach. Theatre credits include work with: Oregon Shakespeare Festival, New Swan Shakespeare Festival, CounterBalance Theater. Film/TV credits include projects for: Freeform, Lifetime Movie Network, SyFy Channel, among others. For more: and
  • Mark Caspary
    composer and sound designer
    Mark Caspary is co-owner of Ears Up Sound Design. Ears Up designs produces and mixes soundtracks for installations, attractions, and large-scale events across the country and abroad. Mark has also forayed into the world of academia with a two-year tenure as a Fellow/instructor in Design at Pomona College. Additionally, Mark also enjoys creating experimental theater as the resident composer and sound designer for CounterBalance Theater. He holds a Master of Fine Arts in Sound Design from the University of California, Irvine
  • Morgan Embry
    video and motion graphics editor
    Morgan Embry is a lighting designer, video designer, choreographer, and performer currently based in Los Angeles, California. She strives for incorporation of diverse and interactive technology into her works and her collaborative process. Morgan is honored to have collaborated with such passionate and talented artists committed to this experimental search for new ways to approach creative story-telling.
  • Simon Sorin
    colorist and videographer
    Colorist and video editor originally from France, I had the pleasure to work on this project and help capture the Modjeska house and the surrounding canyons as well as help develop a magical and fantastical aesthetic through the color grading processes.
  • Samantha Sorin
    production manager and stage manager
    Samantha is thrilled to have worked on this project with CounterBalance Theater. She previously worked with CounterBalance Theater as the Associate Producer on Reading Frankenstein. Samantha holds an MFA in Stage Manager from the University of California, Irvine and is currently the Executive Assistant to the General Counsel at MRC Entertainment.
  • Project Type:
    Animation, Experimental, Short, Other
  • Genres:
    Fantasy, Children, mixed-media, historical, Experimental
  • Runtime:
    15 minutes 13 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    April 23, 2021
  • Production Budget:
    7,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Language:
    English, Polish
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Annie Loui

Annie Loui is an adapter and director known for her hybrid physical theater productions. Her stage work has appeared in Europe and the US. She is the Artistic Director of CounterBalance Theater, and lives in Silverado, California with her husband Andrew Fitchie.

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