The Middle School play, The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, will run on February 9 and 10 in the 375 Pearl Street meetinghouse. There will be four performances; February 9 at 4:00pm and 7:30pm, and February 10 at 3:30pm and 7:00pm.
Tickets are free but need to be reserved beforehand.
Sixth grader Alisa S., is in the ensemble of this stage adaptation of C.S. Lewis’ 1950 children’s fantasy novel about good, evil and courage. Alisa plays several characters and is a well-versed expert on the play. “It’s about these four children who go to a new house, and discover a wardrobe that leads to a different place that’s cold. They meet many new people. Some are evil, some are good. There’s some comedy but it’s also dramatic in what the conflict is, and how it’s dealt with.”
Seventh grader Niko S. is shouldering the position of stage manager. It’s her first time tackling this intense and often overlooked task. “I need to know what’s happening at all times. Stage directions, prop list, what’s needed with the set. I need to know what’s going on.” With a cast this large and a set this elaborate, she’s got her work cut out for her.
Sixth grader Alice M. plays Lucy, one of the four children to cross through the wardrobe into Narnia. “She’s the youngest one and first finds the place. She meets the fawn Tumnus and Mr. Beaver.”
Pretty soon, Santa drops by to give the kids a sword and shield, a bow and arrow, and a healing cordial and dagger. This can’t bode well. Lucy, along with her three siblings, becomes a central heroic figure in a Narnian prophecy about a great lion, Aslan, who will one day return to Narnia, and with the help of four humans, vanquish an evil queen.
“I get a cordial and a dagger from Father Christmas,” Alice explained of her character Lucy. “And then, there’s a battle with the White Witch and Lucy uses the cordial to heal the wounded. Everyone defeats the witch, and all the children go back through the wardrobe. They discover that hardly any time there has passed. It’s really an interesting story.”
Fifth grader Gabrielle L. is also in an important role, but like the stage manager, it’s one that the audience doesn’t usually get to see. She’s part of the all-important stage crew. “We help get all the set and props into the right positions so the actors can do the play.” What’s her take on the story? “It’s a really good play because it helps me imagine not to be afraid, to be more courageous and nice and kind.”
“The biggest challenge has of course been the double casting,” said Middle and Upper School Theatre Teacher and Director Lorna Jordan. “It meant a lot of focus was needed for the actors. They spent a lot of time watching me direct their counterparts and taking notes on blocking.”
Lorna’s reasons for choosing this play are numerous. “I love the story,” she said. “I love the magic. I remember being transported when I read the series and I thought trying to do that in the theatre would be an exciting challenge. Theatre Production Manager Larson Rose‘s set design really helped to make that possible. I also love to get Middle School students in unconventional roles. Playing animals gets them to really think about how they use their physicality and how they move through space. It’s a really nice jumping off point for learning about character work.”
And, she confides, “we are having so much fun with make-up, costumes, characters and set. You can’t go halfway with a story like this.”