Imagination Stage, in a 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. Check out the latest photos from the production 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 Washing Ballet's Studio Company, Dylan Keane, Sam Lariviere; Chong Sun; and Carly Wheaton. The Washington Ballet's Morgan Rose portrays the White Witch. Aslan's puppeteers are Michael John Casey (who also provides his voice), Betsy Rosen, and Tracey 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 runs in Imagination Stage’s Annette M. and Theodore N. Lerner Family Theatre now through August 12. For tickets and more information, visit www.imaginationstage.org.
Photo credit: Scott Suchman
Lucy (Justine Moral) exits the wardrobe.
Peter (Christopher Wilson), Susan (Kate Guesman), Lucy (Justine Moral), and Edmund (Rafael Cuesta) with Aslan (puppeteers Michael John Casey, Betsy Rosen, Tracy Ramsay).
Aslan (puppeteers Michael John Casey, Betsy Rosen, Tracy Ramsay) fights the White Witch (Morgann Rose).
Maugrim the Wolf (Dylan Keane - center) and the White Witch's minions taunt Aslan.
Peter (Sam Lariviere), Lucy (Francesca Forcella), Edmund (Daniel Savetta), and Susan (Laura Chachich) are leaving to escape the war.
The professor (Michael John Casey) shares stories about Marbleton Manor with Edmund (Rafael Cuesta), Susan (Kate Guesman), Peter (Christopher Wilson), and Lucy (Justine Moral).
BWW Hi-Res Gallery - Original Version