‘The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe’

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Peter, played by Keith Ort, defends himself against Fenris Ulf, played by Andrew Meccia, in the FHS production of “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.” (Courtesy photo)

Step through the wardrobe into a winter wonderland, where animals talk and the land is cursed to always be winter and never Christmas, as Flathead High School Theatre’s Acting 3 class presents C.S. Lewis’ classic children’s story, “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” on Dec. 5 and 6 at 6:27 p.m. in the David M. Hashley Theatre at Flathead High School.

Admission is $7 for adults and $5 for children, students and senior citizens. Tickets are available at the FHS Main Office, Photo Video Plus and, if still available, at the door.

The play opens in a countryside mansion of war-torn England. Four displaced children find a mysterious wardrobe and inadvertently enter the magical land of Narnia where the White Witch rules the landscape. The children meet the lovable Mr. Tumnus and his fantastical woodland friends and join with Aslan the Lion on his quest to free Narnia from the spell of the White Witch.

“‘The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe’ is about searching for a greater good in destructive times,” said director and Acting 3 instructor Wendy Putzler. “When Lucy, Susan, Edmund and Peter are sent away from their parents to live with the Old Professor, they must have been scared and lonely. Lucy explores and finds the wardrobe and enters into the world of Narnia where the children find hope in an incredible adventure.

“Adversity is part of life and life’s struggles can be hard. The message of this play is a wonderful start to the holiday season. The four siblings and the residents of Narnia share their struggles and the battle of good versus evil. They love through forgiveness and are awed by the magical wonder of Narnia and Aslan’s great sacrifice.”

For this cast of 19 students, selecting a play with meaning was important.

“This play is important because it is adventurous and shows the family bond throughout the play,” said FHS sophomore Kirya Henderson.

“We’re a family, even though we don’t all hang out after school. This cast is special because we’re all there for each other; we all care,” said FHS junior Becca Charlesworth. “It’s an unforgettable story of courage, love and friendship.”

This performance of “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” faithfully recreates the magic and mystery of Narnia. The FHS Theatre Arts class, led by Liz Sykora, has transformed the theater into a mystical winter forest and created a magical wardrobe for Lucy to explore.

“The students have worked hard and are dedicated to the process of making this story come alive. It is a great way to introduce young ones to the spirit of Christmas,” Putzler said. “I highly recommend revisiting C.S. Lewis’s original book either before or after seeing the play and read it aloud with your family. It will add a little bit of adventure and magic to your holiday season!”

“The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” is presented by the FHS Acting 3 class. In Acting 3, students learn and practice a variety of theater skills and study the relationship between the play’s themes and the actions of the characters within the play and the processes of bringing the play to life, including all design aspects, rehearsal techniques as well as other production elements.

“This class is a large class and they all have amazing ideas,” Putzler said. “It is the directing and design class and before we started this project, the students all completed their first IB Theatre Assessment on a World Theatre Tradition. They studied and discovered traditions in Kabuki, Noh, Punch and Judy, Pantomime, and Kathakali, Topeng Dance Drama, and Wayang Kulit Shadow Puppetry.

“They also designed many aspects of this production. Naesha Johnson, Connor Olsen, and Isaac Glace have designed and collaborated on costumes for this show. Moriah Schutt and Adam Tepas have led the prop and make-up design crews. Jaden McKillip, Becca Charlesworth, and Annie Jones took the lead on the publicity team, and Trevor Brown and Keith Ort created the sound design. Lead fight choreography was created by Ziah Brown, Andrew Meccia, Keith Ort, and Trevor Brown. For a class production of this size, this has been one of the most dedicated groups I have worked with. Dalton Brubaker, Caleb Way, Micah Riendeau and Zach Ailes have been integral members of the design and directing process. Most importantly, Jacob Nairn and Kirya Henderson have been the ‘go-to’ guy and gal for props, stage management and all-around team building.”

“This class is exploding with all of the jokes, humor and energy you would expect from a terrific production,” said FHS senior Micah Riendeau. “All of us bring everything we have to truly bring each and every sound and character to life.”

The cast of “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” includes Zachary Ailes, Moriah Schutt, Annie Jones, Ziah Brown, Naesha Johnson, Kieth Ort, Isaac Glace, Aspenn Kennedy, Mica Riendeau, Rebecca Charlesworth, Andrew Meccia, Jacob Nairn, Connor Olson, Dalton Brubaker, Trevor Brown, Jaden McKillip, Adam Tepas, Caleb Way and Kirya Henderson

Behind the scenes, Anna Henderson, Grace Burtsfield, Daniel Edelen, Matt Nairn and Tyler Gorton make up the stage, sound and lighting crew.

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