Eastern Michigan University Theatre's "A Wrinkle in Time," directed by Jennifer Felts, opens Nov. 30 at 7 p.m. and runs on Dec. 2-3 at 2 p.m.
This play features Annabelle Rickert as Meg Murry, Josi Middaugh as Charles Wallace and Chandler Graham as Calvin O'Keefe. The play's three main characters give outstanding performances that truly bring them to life.
The stage adaptation of Madeleine L'Engle's novel "A Wrinkle in Time" was developed by Tracy Young. After its 1962 release, the book was honored with the Lewis Carroll Shelf Award, the Sequoyah Book Award, and the Newbery Medal.
It is a science fiction, religion, and fantasy tale about space and time travel to defeat a cosmic evil. Meg Murry and her brother Charles Wallace set out on a cosmic quest with their neighbor Calvin O'Keefe to locate their father, a time travel scientist.
Annabelle Rickert's portrayal of Meg captured the essence of her character's sorrow of being held responsible for everything, the questions running through her head and the pain of missing her father. Meg is perceived as a simpleton by those around her, but that is untrue. Her brother and fellow student Calvin O'Keefe hold her in high esteem. She wanted Charles Wallace to avoid becoming like her, despite the fact that Charles looked up to his sister.
Charles Wallace was hilariously portrayed; this character demonstrated excitement by being knowledgeable. The rapid-fire speech showed this character's hyperactivity. The way that Middaugh's performance showed emotions changing throughout was astounding; it truly brought the character's personality to life. The relationship that he had with his sister really showed how much he looked up to her.
Calvin portrayed a young child who feels abandoned by his parents, especially his mother, in his acting. Throughout his portrayal, the actor conveyed loneliness quite effectively. His relationship with Meg revealed how he perceived her; while others considered her to be stupid, he thought she was intelligent and beautiful. Their friendship developed throughout the play, showing that they were there for each other and wanted to protect one another. The acting of the entire company was superb, but especially that of Mrs. Which, Mrs. Whatsit, and Mrs. Who, three ladies who truly came across as humorous.
The background of the performance was visually appealing; it was a circle with graphics that showed what the characters were looking at, even a camera on stage as if we were looking through the character's eyes. It appeared in several picture frames, with the special effects of thunder and lightning being displayed at the start. This effectively conveyed the feeling of a dark, rainy night, which stimulates the audience's interest. The doll house and kitchen table serving as bedroom furnishings were a pleasant touch. It was wonderful that the show could also be enjoyed by those who are deaf or hard of hearing due to a closed captioning screen off-stage.
The storytellers, who each told a different part of Meg's story, were another element of the piece that truly tied everything together. They were portrayed in every scene off to the side reading a book by different company members. In particular, they explained how she was feeling, allowing the audience to truly comprehend Meg's thoughts. This narrative technique expanded on the story's plot and made it easier for the audience to follow up.
Meg was dressed in distinctive and original outfits for the play. She was wearing kahki shorts and a sweater vest. Meg's character as the less popular, more nerdy female was highlighted by her attire. Charles Wallace was there, dressed in pants, a fine shirt, and suspenders. Given his extreme wisdom and nerdiness, his outfit perfectly captured the essence of the character. These two characters are brothers and sisters, as evidenced by the similarity of their clothes.
Calvin was wearing shorts, a zip-up hoodie, and sneakers—a look that is generally associated with teenage boys. Subsequently, the other prominent figures, such as Mrs. Who, Mrs. Whatsit, and Mrs. Which, wore imaginative and colorful attire. Mrs. Who wore a pink robe, large pink glasses, and fluffy white hair. Next, Mrs. Whatsit was dressed in a light blue long-sleeved dress and had noticeable puffy blue hair. Last but not least is Mrs. Which, who wore a light-colored long-sleeved orange dress and an orange bob hairdo. Not only do these individuals have distinctive attire, but they also have unique approaches to specific situations and themes.
The performers in this play truly brought the story to life, and the theatre production was stunning. It is definitely worth checking it out. From the backdrop to the sound effects to the costumes, the production was incredibly imaginative. The student performance was remarkable, and the scenes were captured incredibly effectively.