This year, the Department of Theatre and Dance proudly presents The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe—a play based on the beloved novel by C.S. Lewis and dramatized by Joseph Robinette. The show, directed by Professor Daniel Inouye, follows four children as they enter a kingdom of talking animals, an evil witch, and a heroic lion.
Show dates will begin the first week of spring semester, showcasing the work of student performers. Opting out of a regular J-term course, students have rehearsed intensively over the past three weeks.
According to the show’s Publicity Coordinator, senior public relations major Jennifer Sanchez, J-term performances “alternate between children’s plays and musicals depending on the year. The show itself is called a children’s play because it’s a play that is suited for a younger audience. It’s family friendly and everyone, no matter the age, can pull out the key themes and take away the importance of the show.”
Although steeped with rich symbolism and biblical allegory, this particular production does not lack in adventure and action. In fact, the cast spends three hours every day rehearsing stage combat. Stage Manager and senior english/theatre double major Daniel Heiland says, “It is going to be a very action-filled show. There are two main scenes where combat takes place—the first is a single pair of duelists, but the second involves the majority of the cast all fighting at once onstage.”
Since Narnia is such an adored fantasy world, the show’s cast and crew are working extremely hard to satisfy the audience’s imagination. Heiland says, “One of my favorite aspects of design is costumes. A lot of the Narnian characters have elements of what one would find in the wardrobe, so it’s going to have the idea that this is all taking place in the wardrobe.” The performers have worked hard to bring the fairytale to life, but Costume Designer Elizabeth Angelozzi and Set Designer and Department Chair Tymberley Whitesel, strive to create visual magic.
James Lim, a sophomore musical theatre and international business double major, will take the stage performing the role of Edmund. “Narnia is the children’s story that all of us love and being given the opportunity to bring this story to life here, on campus, has been such a fun one,” Lim says, “It’s been a lot of fun discovering new things in the story, finding the little analogies that the brilliant C.S. Lewis puts into the story.”
Lewis’s land inside the wardrobe has captivated the hearts of many. Don’t miss your chance to experience Messiah’s production of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe on February 2-4 and 9-11 at 7:00 p.m. or February 5 and 12 at 3:00 p.m. in Miller Theater. Tickets can be purchased at the ticket office or online. The cost is $10 for general admission and $7 with a student ID. Please visit www.messiah.edu/tickets for more information.