On Friday, March 14 and Saturday, March 15, Eastern Michigan University’s Theatre for the Young gave a public performance of “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe,” based on the book by C.S. Lewis.
The students who participated did well making their characters come to life. The students even adapted some of the characters to their own abilities.
“It was based on the people we had audition and the people we had available,” said stage manager Markham Byron.
A good example of this was the character of Aslan. This specific production used two actors to play him, Victoria Galanos and Ben-Ra Wright.
“Aslan is a larger than life character. We wanted him to be larger than one person can do,” said Byron.
Galanos acted as the head and the voice of Aslan while Wright was the body (including the wagging tail) and also helped emphasize the roars and certain strong phrases as well, to add power to the character.
“We decided that we wanted to make it a partnership,” said Wright.
The audience was able to really get into the play as well, without the separation of a distant stage. Instead, the open room in McKenny was set up with a round formation of chairs and the play was put on right in the middle.
Music director Kelly Joyce Fielder did an outstanding job of performing live acoustic sound effects during the play. The audience was able to feel the climactic moments as she set the tone for the entire production.
This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Applied Drama and Theater for the Young Program. They travel to elementary, middle and high schools around the area to perform.
This semester, the production will be touring to six elementary schools and performing for almost 2,000 students in grades first through sixth.
This year, they were also able to bring in home-schooled children from the area and perform for them as well. Scholarship performances are even offered for schools that may not be able to afford to bring them in for an assembly.
To get into the play this past weekend, it only cost a suggested five-dollar donation. The money that is donated goes towards these scholarship performances.
“We want to promote the idea of using imagination and the idea of courage, even though they’re little. Giving students the idea that they can conquer things,” said the play’s director Meriah Sage.
If you are interested in adopting a school by donating the cost of a tour performance, you can contact the Theatre for the Young by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are interested in joining the Fall 2014 or Winter 2015 tour ensembles, you can start looking for audition information in April and can contact Sage at email@example.com.
Does anyone else notice how there are ZERO specifics ...