John Glore's TYA Adaptation Of A WRINKLE IN TIME Starts February 14 at Chance Theater
Chance Theater, Anaheim's official resident theater company, presents "A Wrinkle in Time," kicking off the company's TYA (Theater for Young Audiences) Family Series for its 2020 season. Playwright John Glore has created a wild, highly theatrical adaptation of Madeleine L'Engle's acclaimed 1962 story about three teens who traverse the boundaries of time and space in search of a beloved parent, bringing it magically to life on the Chance's Fyda-Mar Stage.
Directed by Darryl B. Hovis and James McHale, A Wrinkle in Time previews February 14 through 16, 2020, with regular performances running February 20 to March 1 on the Fyda-Mar Stage at the Bette Aitken theater arts Center.
On the proverbial literary "dark and stormy night," the eccentric Mrs. Whatsit arrives at the home of Meg Murry, a young teen who doesn't fit in with her peers at her New England high school. Meg's scientist father vanished more than two years ago under mysterious circumstances. Aided by Mrs. Whatsit and her friends, Meg, her gifted brother Charles Wallace, and her friend Calvin are transported through time and space on a mission to rescue Meg and Charles' father from the evil forces that hold him prisoner on another planet. Those familiar with the novel will find John Glore's adaptation an absolute delight.
Chance Theater recommendation: A Wrinkle in Time is suitable for ages 4 and up - a great play for the entire family.
"A suspenseful, life-and-death drama that is of believable cosmic significance. Complex and rich in mystical religious insights, this is breathtaking entertainment." - School Library Journal
"Madeleine L'Engle mixes classical theology, contemporary family life and futuristic science fiction to make a completely convincing tale." - The New York Times Book Review
First published in 1962, the young adult novel A Wrinkle in Time won numerous awards for American author Madeleine L'Engle, including the Newberry Medal, the Sequoyah Book Award and the Lewis Carroll Shelf Award, and was the runner-up for the Hans Christian Andersen Award.
The focal characters of Wrinkle are three teens - Meg Murry, Charles Wallace Murry, and Calvin O'Keefe - who embark upon a journey through space and time that takes them from one universe to another as they endeavor to save Meg and Charles' father... and the entire planet Earth. The novel offers a glimpse into battles between the forces of good and evil as the young heroes mature from children to adolescents during the course of their journey. The novel wrestles with questions of spirituality and purpose as the characters are often thrown into conflicts of love, divinity and goodness. A Wrinkle in Time became the first of what is known as its author's "Time Quintet," a series of five novels that follow the characters of Meg, Charles and Calvin as they mature.
L'Engle modeled the Murry family on her own, and scholar Bernie E. Cullinan has noted that she created characters who "share common joy with a mixed fantasy and science-fiction setting, thus generating scientific and religious undertones that are highly reflected of L'Engle's own life.
A Wrinkle in Time has inspired two film adaptations, both by Disney. The 2003 version, directed by John Kent Harrison, was created especially for television. The 2018 version is a theatrical motion picture directed by Ava DuVernay.
Time-wise, John Glore's stage adaptation of the novel falls directly between the two, having premiered at South Coast Repertory in 2010. Glore wrote the play as an ensemble for a cast of six actors who portray the story's 12 parts. While three actors portray the teen protagonists, one actor fulfills the roles of Mrs. Whatsit, The Man with Red Eyes, and Camazotz Man, while a second portrays Dr. Kate Murry, Mrs. Who, Mamazotz Woman, and Aunt Beast.
Following its Costa Mesa world premiere, Glore's play received productions in Bethesda, Maryland; Cincinnati; Philadelphia; Orlando; and Portland, Oregon, among other cities. Chance Theater's new staging is among the play's first new productions in an Orange County theater since the play's SCR debut nearly a decade ago.
The earliest stage adaptation of L'Engle's novel was created by James Sie, getting its premiere at Lifeline Theatre in Chicago in 1990. It encored there in 1998 and again in 2017. Tracy Young created another stage adaptation at Oregon Shakespeare Festival in the spring of 2014, a show that then made the rounds at various college stages and small theater companies throughout the U.S.
Glore's version, however, has garnered the most attention, and that's the script Chance Theater patrons will have the opportunity to see.
"We are excited to bring Madeleine L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time to the stage" says the show's director, Darryl Hovis, who also oversees the entire TYA Family Series at the Chance. "I feel this story about the importance of love, family and, most of all, self-acceptance, is one that needs to be heard again and again. It's a reminder that love can conquer all. John Glore's clever adaptation allows us to be creative in bringing this story to the intimate setting of the Fyda-Mar Stage."
Co-Director James McHale continued, "The themes are perhaps even more relevant today as they were when Madeleine L'Engle's novel was first published in 1962. This is a story about darkness and light, good versus evil, truth versus lies, and individuality and otherness versus conformity, where the key to winning the fight is not anger, but love."