BWW Preview: THE LION, THE WITCH, AND THE WARDROBE at Theater Works
THE LION, THE WITCH, AND THE WARDROBE, Theater Works YouthWorks' second show of the season, opens on January 12th and runs through January 28th. The show will be performed at Peoria Center for the Performing Arts in the Gyder Theater.
Following C.S. Lewis' first installment of the "Chronicles of Narnia" series, THE LION, THE WITCH, AND THE WARDROBE follows the story of four children who enter an old wardrobe and emerge into the mystical world of Narnia, a world full of magical creatures, such as talking animals who have been trapped until the ruling of the evil white witch. When the children arrive in Narnia, the fight between good and evil ignites.
Faith Blinn (White Witch) describes the show as "endearing, intriguing, and powerful", a show filled with "wonder and beauty". She mentions that audiences feel a connection with the characters, including those such as "Aslan, a true leader and a father to his followers. He gives the audience a feeling of comfort and bliss. The Witch, on the other hand,... is harsh yet seductive and intriguing but full of darkness... It gives a feeling of courage and depth that not many shows have".
Several members of the cast, including Ava Newton (Lucy), credit the vigor and professionalism of the production to co-directors Shelby and Brian Maticic. "The directors do an amazing job of giving each cast member a moment to shine" she says.
Shelby Maticic, co-director, mentions the importance of family when putting together the show. "The Pevensie children are the catalyst for the return of Aslan... Despite the obstacles they face, they band together and face it together. We all have different ideas of what a family looks like, but our family is who we rely on and find strength in."
Gesturing to her fellow creative team members, Maticic emphasizes that she's "lucky to be working with a wonderful team of designers at Theater Works. Jeff Davis' lighting design has really helped to bring the world of Narnia to life, as we journey from the real world into the magical realm." She also points to Carolyn McBurney, costume designer as "creating some beautiful costumes for this show. The entire world is so fun and fantastical."
Creative team members, such as Dori Brown (set designer) also had insight into the creation of the show. Brown designed "Narnia" as a unit set with pieces that are able to be added to follow the characters on their journey. "One of the [director's] requests was to see the wardrobe at the top of the show and have Lucy enter Narnia through the wardrobe," says Brown, "Every show provides at least one design struggle, and this one was my challenge... After considerable research and weighing my options, we settled on a solution and believe it will make an impact on the opening of the show." Co-director Shelby Maticic notes that Brown's set pieces make her feel "like it leaped from the pages of a book".
THE LION, THE WITCH, AND THE WARDROBE runs from January 12th-28th at the Peoria Center for the Performing Arts in the Gyder Theater. Tickets are available at theaterworks.org, or by clicking here.