Imagination Stage, in a groundbreaking collaboration with The Washington Ballet, presents 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. Get a first look at the production in the photos below!
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). Those same roles are danced in rotation by Laura Chachich and Daniel Savetta, members of The Washington Ballet’s Professional Trainee Program; Francesca Forcella, a member of The Washington Ballet’s Studio Company; Dylan Keane, Sam Lariviere; Chong Sun; and Carly Wheaton. The Washington Ballet’s Morgann Rose portrays the White Witch. Aslan’s puppeteers are Michael John Casey (who also provides his voice), Betsy Rosen, and Tracy Ramsay.
The cast of The Lion, The Witch, & The Wardrobe also includes Sara Beth Pfeifer (Mrs. Beaver/Voice of the White Witch), and Robert Mulvey (dancing as Tumnus/Elf/Maugrim).
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 features Libretto and Lyrics by Janet Stanford; Music by Matthew Pierce; Choreography by Septime Webre and David Palmer; and is directed by Janet Stanford, playing June 20 – August 12, 2012, according to the following schedule: 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.
Special Opportunities: $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.
Tickets are $10 - $27. For ages 5 and up. Tickets 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 is located at 4908 Auburn Avenue, Bethesda, Md. For information, call 301-280-1660 or visit www.imaginationstage.org.
Photos courtesy Imagination Stage.
Aslan (portrayed by Michael John Casey, Betsy Rosen, and Tracy Ramsay) and the White Witch (Morgann Rose)
Aslan (portrayed by Michael John Casey, Betsy Rosen, and Tracy Ramsay) and Lucy (Justine Moral)
The White Witch (Morgann Rose), Aslan (portrayed by Michael John Casey, Betsy Rosen, and Tracy Ramsay), Lucy (Justine Moral), and Edmund (Rafael Cuesta)
The White Witch (Morgann Rose) and Aslan (portrayed by Michael John Casey, Betsy Rosen, and Tracy Ramsay)
BWW Hi-Res Gallery - Original Version