The first book of C.S. Lewis' seven-book fantasy series, The Chronicles of Narnia, has since been adapted for the stage after the book's publication in the mid-1950s. Murray's Playhouse in the Park will be presenting the wintry tale of The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe, this weekend. Aslan and the Witch, played by Adam Miller and Laurel Johnston, visit Sounds Good to discuss the upcoming performance.
The new dramatization of the C.S. Lewis classic is set in the land of Narnia and faithfully recreates the magic and mystery of Aslan, the great lion, his struggle with the White Witch, and the four prophecy-fulfilling children who inadvertandly wander from an old wardrobe to the mystical, never-to-be-forgotten land of Narnia. Other familiar characters from the book, such as the welcoming centaur and Father Christmas, can be seen in person on stage, recreating the timeless story of love, courage, forgiveness, and the triumph of good over evil.
The 'lion' and the 'witch' of the story discussed the differences and similarities between the book and the play, the challenges the actors faced, and the efficiency and success of the whole crew. Johnston, who plays the White Witch, noted that this role was extremely different from the roles she's used to playing. "It's a real challenge," she explains. "A lot of people say when you play someone evil, you look for their redeeming qualities. The fun thing about the witch is there are really no redeeming qualities about her." Miller, who plays the stoic lion, Aslan, has been able to take advantage of his large stature (he stands at 6'5", taller than anyone else in the production) to accurately portray the creator and true king of Narnia.
This will be the first time Playhouse in the Park has done The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe in at least twelve years. And while opening week of a live stage production can often be accompanied by nerves of the cast and crew, Miller says that he's "been involved with plays at Playhouse for several years, and this is one of the couple shows I've been in where I think we're definitely ready to go and we're ready for an audience." The actors credit this confidence to first time main stage director, Sabry Poor. "She has done a fantastic job with directing, getting all the kids to be attentive and aware, her thought process and design of the show -- she's done a very fantastic and wonderful job," says Miller.
Playhouse in the Park will be presenting The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe from December 7th to December 16th. Showtimes are Fridays and Saturdays at 7 p.m. and Sunday matinees at 2:30 p.m. Playhouse encourages those planning to attend a performance to reserve tickets at the box office prior to the performance day. You can reserve tickets by visiting the Playhouse in the Park website, or calling their box office at 270-759-1752.