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“The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” to feature local youth

By Rachel J. Trotter, Standard-Examiner Correspondent - | Dec 2, 2015
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Aleda Boyce as Aslan and Amelia Naumann as the White Witch challenge each other in a play version of "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" which will play in Brigham City Dec. 3 through Dec. 7, 2015.

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Edmund, played by Rowan Connor, interacts with the White Witch, played by Amelia Naumann, in a play version of "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" which will play in Brigham City Dec. 3 through Dec. 7, 2015.

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Justin Medsker as Peter , Emiliegh Griffiths as Lucy, and Oakley Gunderson as Susan visit with Aslan and his followers in a play version of "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" which will play in Brigham City Dec. 3 through Dec. 7, 2015.

BRIGHAM CITY – Youth in the Brigham City area will put on a production of “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” this week. The show is part of a series being produced in conjunction with the Brigham City Fine Arts Center and students from Utah State University’s theater education program.

This is the second full year of “Creative Stage,” a program created by USU graduate Ryan Irvin. He launched the program when he was finishing his degree at USU last year, said Susan Neidert, director of the Brigham City Fine Arts Center.

“We really wanted to bring a family theater experience to the area,” Neidert said.

They have done just that, but the end product has been a little different than they originally thought. When the two groups started buying and obtaining rights to the shows, many of them were “junior” productions, so cast members couldn’t be above the age of 18.

They decided to mix things up a bit and offer shows for youth ages 8 to 18, and shows for both youth and adults. The youth shows still benefit the whole family because young children can attend and be entertained. They are also not as long as traditional plays, so they hold attention spans and tickets are usually less expensive.

Neidert said a big part of what they wanted to accomplish was to let high-school-aged kids or new graduates from high school have a chance to be in a production. “Some kids just want to try it out, but don’t have time for a big commitment. This is perfect for them,” Neidert said.

Neidert said she has loved the way the program has met the needs of the community. Families are getting the chance to act and university students are getting hands-on teaching and leadership experience.

When the program first started, there was just one director handling everything, but that quickly changed to an entire production staff which has come together nicely, Neidert said. “We have costume designers, producers, sound designers, set designers; there are several components that make up a team and those students are learning how to do all those things,” Neidert said.

As for “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe,” it is a youth show and is a dramatization of C.S. Lewis’ classic novel adapted by Joseph Robinette. The show is true to the Lewis book and features the chases, duels and escapes that are popular in the book.

The show runs 80 minutes and plays at 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 3, through Monday, Dec. 7, with no show Sunday. Additionally, there is a matinee at 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 5.

“The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” plays at the Brigham City Fine Arts Center, 58 S. 100 West. Tickets are $5 per person and can be purchased at the fine arts center website  or at the door.

Future shows in the “Creative Stages” series in the coming year are scheduled to include “Beverly Hillbillies,” a play for all ages in February; “Wizard of Oz Junior” for youth 8 to 18 in May; and a melodrama in the early fall around Peach Days time.


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