Photo Flash: Travel 20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA With Outcry Youth Theatre

The classic 1870 Jules Verne novel, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, has inspired a new adaptation by local Outcry Theatre founders, Jason and Becca Johnson-Spinos. The duo, who will also be directing its premiere with a youth cast, have created a brand new adaptation that reimagines the brilliant and strong-minded Professor Aronnax, the protagonist of the story, as a female character. Aronnax joins an expedition to capture and kill a sea monster terrorizing the seas. She soon learns that the creature is actually an ingenious underwater vessel, the Nautilus, built and captained by the mysterious Captain Nemo. What Aronnax experiences on the Nautilus will open her eyes to a world she could hardly have imagined.

The science fiction adventure through the underwater world is brought to life through Jason Johnson-Spinos's inventive projections, Becca Johnson-Spinos's kinetic movement choreography, and the incomparable Gabrielle Grafrath's puppets. Expect to see more than a dozen puppets, including a very large shark and a 10-person puppeteered goliath squid. And, of course, stellar performances are expected of this talented youth cast. 2017 Broadway World Dallas Best Supporting Actor and Actress in a Youth Play winners, Brayden Soffa and Elizabeth Belilty, are among the cast of twenty-five exceptional youth actors that hail from Ft. Worth to McKinney.

We talked to the Johnson-Spinos's about this exciting new script. When asked about the decision to change several of the characters from men to women and to add additional female characters, Becca Johnson-Spinos explained, "We're always looking for opportunities to showcase actresses in strong female roles. Too many of these classic stories are populated entirely by men. In the case of Aronnax, the way Jules Verne wrote the character often seemed feminine to me. It made perfect sense to flip the character's gender. Her assistant Conseil, often the comic relief, naturally also became a woman." She continued, "While Aronnax and Conseil face sexism aboard the ship they board to pursue the monster, I wanted them to find a more just world aboard Nemo's ship. With Nemo's desire to fight for the underdog, it made sense for him to have female crewmembers and to admire and respect Aronnax for her intellect." The addition of female characters also allowed the Johnson-Spinos's to add some romantic elements that create conflict and further deepen the complexity of the characters from the original text.

Amazingly, much of what Jules Verne imagined in his science fiction novel has become reality. Jason Johnson-Spinos explained, "We decided to push even further with Nemo's inventions. Our version has Nemo not only building his remarkable submarine and harnessing electricity to power it, but also creating a female android, named Zoya, for his protection." While just like in the novel, not all the science is accurate, science lovers will appreciate the themes of exploring and learning that run throughout the story and reinforce the awe the characters experience as they travel to the North Pole, the bottom of the sea, or even the center of a volcano.

Come aboard the Nautilus and let Captain Nemo and Outcry Youth Theatre transport you to places never seen before!

Tickets are on sale now at: https://www.outcrytheatre.com/20000-leagues-under-the-sea

More about Outcry Theatre: Outcry Theatre's hallmarks are bold artistic vision, highly physical staging and an energetic and visceral performance style. In 2017 Outcry Theatre's professional productions, Bat Boy and My Name is Asher Lev, were both featured in the annual Column Awards Best of DFW Theatre and Bat Boy was nominated for Best Musical.

More about Outcry Youth Theatre: "This is not children's theatre. This is theatre." Outcry Youth Theatre's motto describes how they approach each of their productions. The goal is not for the plays to be good "for kids," but for them to be as good as any adult production. Outcry Youth Theatre opened its first show, Love/Sick, in July of 2016. Outcry Youth's A Wrinkle in Time was recognized with the 2016 Broadway World Dallas Best Youth Play Award.

high res photos

Photo Flash: Travel 20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA With Outcry Youth Theatre
Calin Eastes as Ned Land, Will McDonald as Captain Nemo, Elizabeth Belilty as Pieretta Aronnax and IsabElla Wilson as Conseil. photo by Jason Johnson-Spinos

Photo Flash: Travel 20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA With Outcry Youth Theatre
Brayden Soffa as Captain Nemo, Alexa Stratton as Pieretta Aronnax. photo by Jason Johnson-Spinos

Photo Flash: Travel 20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA With Outcry Youth Theatre
Brayden Soffa as Captain Nemo photo by Jason Johnson-Spinos

Photo Flash: Travel 20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA With Outcry Youth Theatre
Will McDonald as Captain Nemo photo by Jason Johnson-Spinos

Photo Flash: Travel 20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA With Outcry Youth Theatre
Peyton Nicholson as Ned Land, Alexa Stratton as Pierietta Aronnax, Madeline Carter as Conseil photo by Jason Johnson-Spinos

Photo Flash: Travel 20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA With Outcry Youth Theatre
Elizabeth Belilty as Pieretta Aronnax and IsabElla Wilson as Conseil. photo by Jason Johnson-Spinos

Photo Flash: Travel 20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA With Outcry Youth Theatre
Calin Eastes as Ned Land photo by Jason Johnson-Spinos

Photo Flash: Travel 20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA With Outcry Youth Theatre
Elizabeth Belilty as Pieretta Aronnax and Will McDonald as Captain Nemo photo by Jason Johnson-Spinos

Photo Flash: Travel 20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA With Outcry Youth Theatre
Elizabeth Belilty as Pieretta Aronnax photo by Jason Johnson-Spinos

Photo Flash: Travel 20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA With Outcry Youth Theatre
Alexa Stratton as Pieretta Aronnax. photo by Jason Johnson-Spinos

Photo Flash: Travel 20,000 LEAGUES UNDER THE SEA With Outcry Youth Theatre
Elizabeth Belilty as Pieretta Aronnax photo by Jason Johnson-Spinos

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