Relive a classic tale with ‘The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe’

Submitted photo Susan (Triniti Gregg), Edmund (Rylan Thompson), Peter (Klay Lee) and Lucy (Abby Spear) arrive in Narnia after stumbling through an old wardrobe.

The White Witch has prevented Christmas in Narnia and the animals are in a silent uproar until four children wander into the exciting land through an old wardrobe. Do they have what it takes to defeat the White Witch and restore the magic of Christmas to Narnia?

Minot’s Mouse River Players will be bringing Joseph Robinette’s dramatization of the classic story by C.S. Lewis “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” to the stage starting tomorrow.

“We chose LWW as it was a well-known novel that included the character Father Christmas in its plot,” said Holly Eidsness, director, about choosing the classic tale for their holiday production. “The fact that the White Witch’s reign prevented Christmas in Narnia and upset all the animals. Also, it has lots of parts for all ages.”

The show will run Nov. 22-24 and Nov. 29-Dec. 1. On Fridays and Saturdays, the show will start at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday matinees will start at 2 p.m. Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for children and $13 for seniors, military and students.

When casting, Eidsness noted that children and adults alike were excited about the production.

“I think because they were familiar with it and it is a fairytale,” Eidsness said. “As a result, we have a cast of 50 actors — 25 children, 10 teens and 15 adults.”

When recreating a story so familiar to most people, Eidsness made sure the major pieces of the storyline are present so the audience can recognize the story. However there will be some differences between the Disney on-screen version of Narnia and the Narnia as told by the Mouse River Players.

“Our stage version will be quite different than Disney’s version using an actual lion; our Aslan is a superhero,” Eidsness explained. “Our characters are human with costuming and makeup of animals.”

One of the most challenging parts of the show from the director’s standpoint has been blocking the sword fights. Luckily for Eidsness, Errol Petgrave, casted as the heartwarming lion and Narnia’s true king Aslan, has experience with choreographing such a scene as well as Mouse River Players’ choreographer Paula Simonson.

The crew working on the production has flexed their creative muscle to transport viewers to the wintery wonderland of Narnia.

“I am so proud of the artistry of the set, costumes, headpieces and makeup,” Eidsness said. “EJ Rose painted the backdrop, Krys Zorbuagh designed the headpieces and makeup for the main characters.”

Also working on the production are Thea Lee, Sinie Beck, Angie Thompson and Lin Knickerbocker for costume design. Randy and Heather Spear anchored the set construction for Narnia.

“It is a major team effort,” Eidsness added.

The actors in the show all vary in experience. A number of the actors performing in the wintery production are new to the Mouse River Players Stage as well as accomplished performers. The hope, through it all, is that members of the audience rediscover or find their love of the classic tale.

“I hope that the audience will rediscover C.S. Lewis’ ‘Narnia’ stories, and a new generation will want to read the remaining six novels,” Eidsness said.


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