Imagination Stage, in a collaboration with The Washington Ballet, has announced casting for its world premiere summer production, THE LION, THE WITCH & THE WARDROBE. In this fusion of theater, dance, and puppetry, based on the novel by C.S. Lewis, the roles of the four children are played jointly by an actor and a dancer, and the courageous lion Aslan is portrayed by a life-size puppet operated by three actor/puppeteers, similar to the puppets used in the Broadway production War Horse.
The four children’s roles are played by Imagination Stage veterans Christopher Wilson (Peter), Kate Guesman (Susan), and Rafael Cuesta (Edmund), and newcomer Justine Moral (Lucy). The roles are danced by: Laura Chachich (Susan), and Daniel Savetta (Edmund) – members of The Washington Ballet’s Professional Trainee Program, and Francesca Forcella (Lucy), a member of The Washington Ballet’s Studio Company. The Washington Ballet’s Morgann Rose portrays the White Witch. Aslan’s puppeteers are Michael John Casey (who also provides his voice) and Betsy Rosen.
The cast of The Lion, The Witch, & The Wardrobe also includes Sara Beth Pfeifer (Mrs. Beaver/Voice of the White Witch) and Chong Sun (dancing as Tumnus/Elf). The dancer for the role of Peter and the third Aslan puppeteer are currently being cast.
The Lion, The Witch, & The Wardrobe runs in Imagination Stage’s Annette M. and Theodore N. Lerner Family Theatre June 20 through August 12. Appropriate for ages 5 and up, tickets are $10 to $27, and may be purchased online at www.imaginationstage.org, at the Imagination Stage box office, or via phone at 301-280-1660. Group rates are available.
Imagination Stage’s Artistic Director Janet Stanford says, “The Lion, The Witch, & The Wardrobe is the Shakespeare of Theatre for Young Audiences—its theme is so epic and so adored by fans that Imagination Stage has not tackled a full scale production of it before. The opportunity to collaborate with The Washington Ballet has given us the chance to create a new theatrical language for the story. Dancers, actors, singers, and puppeteers combine their talents in our show making a world on stage that is larger than life and that will make our audiences feel a part of Narnia’s magic as they never have before.”
In this British wartime tale, Lucy, Edmund, Susan, and Peter are sent off to the countryside to avoid the Blitz. Homesick and restless, the siblings find themselves at odds with one another until Lucy discovers a magical wardrobe that leads them into the fantastical world of Narnia. There, the four become embroiled in an enduring battle between the evil forces of the White Witch and her arch nemesis, the great lion Aslan. It’s a courageous adventure with terrible betrayals, enormous struggles, heroic deeds, and noble kings and queens.
THE LION, THE WITCH & THE WARDROBE is directed by Janet Stanford, who also serves as lyricist and librettist. The newly commissioned music is composed by New York-based violinist Matthew Pierce. The Washington Ballet’s Artistic Director Septime Webre and Associate Artistic Director David Palmer have created the show’s choreography. Minneapolis-based designer Eric J. Van Wyk has designed and created the ambitious and unique set, as well as the Aslan puppet. The remainder of the creative team includes several local artists—Music Director George Fulginiti-Shakar, Lighting Designer Colin Bills, and Costume Designer Kathleen Geldard.
THE LION, THE WITCH & THE WARDROBE runes from June 20 – August 12, 2012.
· Tuesday through Friday at 10:30 am
· Saturdays and Sundays at 1:30 pm and 4:00 pm
· Special performances on Monday, July 2 at 10:30 am and Friday, August 10 at 7:00 pm
· No performance on Wednesday, July 4
For ages 5 and up
· $10 Preview Performances June 20 and 21
· ASL interpreted performance: July 1 at 4:00 pm
· Meet the cast after every 1:30 pm and 4:00 pm weekend performance