Play Preview: ‘The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe’

by Sarah Bean

Next week, the Cedarville Theatre Department will debut yet another masterful play.

Based off the book by C.S. Lewis, Joseph Robinette’s “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe” will pull audiences into a mystical world.

Set in 1940, “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” tells the story of siblings Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy, who have been sent to the English countryside to escape the bomb raids in London. One rainy day, while playing inside, Lucy discovers a magical land through a wardrobe.

The set is based off the book “Planet Narnia,” which suggests that C.S. Lewis secretly based the magical land on the medieval view of the seven planets.

“[The set] is based off of Jupiter, which is about the rising of the king,” Jordan Fredericks, who plays Tumnus in the play, said. “In the story, Aslan arises as the true king, and then we have inheritors of the thrones.”

To help sell the planetary imagery, the play will feature a rotating stage.

“We have a lot of colors that are associated with Jupiter worked into the set, and the dais is going to be spinning throughout the scene changes. It’s really cool, the perspective it gives,” Kristen Farley, who plays an elf, said. “And that little dais will be painted like the planet Jupiter. It even has Jupiter’s red spot!”

Theater scene shop worker Miranda Dyson said that many objects are on wheels. These will allow the objects to rotate on and off stage during scene changes. Much work has gone into building iconic set pieces such as the wardrobe, the lamp post, and Father Christmas’ sleigh.

“The detailing is the most time consuming [part], with the different layers of paint,” Dyson said. “We don’t paint once—we have different washes. And then we’ll do details in foam and we’ll do lots of carving with that to make it look like wood, or like rock, or like something else we’re trying to make.”

The choreography in the play is just as detailed as the set, especially during the intense final battle. Stephen De Jong, a senior theatre major, choreographed the fight. The department also brought in a guest fight director, Dr. Alicia Goodman, to help teach stage combat and to polish the choreography. The actors work with real swords that have been dulled down, but they are still dangerous if used incorrectly.

“We have certain marks you are aiming for … so you’re not going for the face or doing something totally dangerous,” Farley said.

Filled with themes of good versus evil, and betrayal versus redemption, “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” parallels the story of Christ and how He redeems His people.

“It’s a redemption story. Aslan redeems Edmund from the clutch of the witch,” Farley said. “And the winter—like our lovely Ohio winter—spring is coming, that’s a good promo for our play! Aslan’s coming, come see it!”

This play is a huge production that bought together many people with many talents, from choreography to arranging music.

“You get these people coming together, and it’s a beautiful picture they make,” Farley said.

The play will run from Feb. 1 to 11. Tickets can be bought at the Information Center in the Stevens Student Center at $12 for students and $15 for adults.

Sarah Bean is a freshman journalism major and an arts and entertainment writer for Cedars. She loves painting with watercolors, singing in chorale, and going on adventures with friends.


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