Imagination Stage Announces Casting for Dahl Repertory Shows

James and the Giant Peach, the beloved and well-read Roald Dahl story returns to Imagination Stage and teams up with the world premiere of The Magic Finger, one of Dahl's lesser known stories. The repertory, performed on the same stage and using nearly cast for each show, has been extended to June 2.
James and the Giant Peach and The Magic Finger run in repertory in Imagination Stage's Annette M. and Theodore N. Lerner Family Theatre April 3 through June 2, 2013. Best for ages 4-10, tickets are $12 to $25, and 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.
Both shows are set in 1960s Great Britain. James and the Giant Peach, about an orphan who journeys across the Atlantic on a giant flying peach with a wacky crew of oversized bugs, will be directed by Janet Stanford. Stanford's twist on the story gives James Remarkable similarities to another famous James: Bond. James Bond.
Stanford places the story on the set of a film in the 1960s in Great Britain, and the main character becomes the world renowned British film hero, James Bond. "There are lots of special effects in the movie, done in the simple methods of the period," says Janet. "This inspires me to believe that we can accomplish many of the difficult feats that must happen using techniques such as stop animation and small model stages." Stanford also uses other '60s pop references, with some characters reminiscent of icons such as Mick Jagger, Twiggy, and Sean Connery.
Dahl and James Bond do have a close connection. In fact, Ian Fleming, author of the Bond books, convinced the producers ofYou Only Live Twice to let Dahl write the screenplay, which became the first really modern Bond movie.
The world premiere of Dahl's The Magic Finger, directed by Kathryn Chase Bryer, is about young Lucy, a girl with a magical index finger that doles out justice. While visiting her friend William Gregg, Lucy finds out that the Gregg family enjoys hunting ducks. Her magic finger turns the tables, making the Gregg family ducks, and the duck family the Greggs.
"The Magic Finger is a comedy with many farcical elements and magic but with a dark tone," says Bryer. "Dahl is very extreme - good is very good and evil is very evil, and both are greatly exaggerated." While a lesser-known Dahl work, The Magic Finger in many ways foreshadows Dahl's masterpiece, Matilda, which has recently received an award-winning adaptation that is coming to Broadway in March.
Many members of the cast perform in both productions, with the exception of young actors Sean Silva and Ian Berlin, who share the title role of James.
Megan Graves plays the Tour Guide/Mayor of NYC (James) and Lucy (Magic Finger). Megan was last seen at Imagination Stage in Dr. Dolittle and has also performed with No Rules Theatre Company, Folger Theatre, and The American Century Theater. Matthew Schleigh plays the Grasshopper (James) and William (Magic Finger). Matthew has performed numerous Imagination Stage productions and was most recently seen as the Mayor of Whoville and a Wickersham in Seussical.
Other members of the cast are Leigh Jameson (Mrs. Gregg and the Ladybug), Phillip Reid (Earthworm, James/Master Duck,Magic Finger), Joe Brack (Aunt Spiker and Captain of the Queen Mary, James/Mr. Duck, Magic Finger), Eric Messner(Centipede and Litterbug, James/Mr. Gregg and Dog Owner, Magic Finger), and Lauren Du Pree (Miss Spider and Old Man,James/Mrs. Duck, Magic Finger).
The creative team for the Dahl repertory includes Composer Tim Guillot, Music Director Debbie Jacobson, Set DesignerMilagros Ponce de Leon, Costume Designer Kendra Rai, and Lighting Designer Andrew Griffin.
Imagination Stage's 2012-13 season finale is Peter Pan and Wendy (June 26 - August 11).
James and the Giant Peach
By Roald Dahl; Adapted by David Wood; Directed by Janet Stanford
Now - May 31, 2013
· Public performances on Saturdays and Sundays at 1:30 p.m. and 4:00 p.m., select Saturdays at 11 a.m.
· Special Friday night performance on May 17 at 7 p.m.
· Tuesday-Friday field trip performances
Tickets: $12 - $25; best for ages 4-10
Special Opportunities:
· Children's Ball fundraiser around the May 11th 4 p.m. performance. Tickets $75 individually or $250 for family pack of four.
· Sensory-friendly performance: May 12 at 11:00 a.m.
The Magic Finger
By Roald Dahl; Adapted by David Wood; Directed by Kathryn Chase Bryer
Now - June 2, 2013
· Public performances on Saturdays and Sundays at 1:30 p.m. and 4:00 p.m., select Saturdays at 11 a.m.
· Tuesday-Friday field trip performances
Tickets: $12 - $25; best for ages 5-10
Special Opportunities:
· ASL interpreted performance: May 5 at 4:00 p.m.
Imagination Stage
Located At: 4908 Auburn Avenue, Bethesda, MD
Parking: Metered parking in the adjacent public parking garage; parking is FREE on weekends
Metro: Red Line / Bethesda Station
For Information: 301-280-1660 or www.imaginationstage.org.



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