Photo by Joshua Moxon. Welcome to the wonderful enchanted land beyond the wardrobe where “it is always winter but never Christmas.” In this unique retelling of C.S. Lewis’ THE LION THE WITCH and THE WARDROBE, Narnia not only comes to life, but sings and dances as well.

Sixty-six home-schooled children ages 7 to 18, from 23 communities, truly bring to life each creature in Narnia and each of the humans whose lives were touched in some way by Narnia. Lucy (Evelyn Timmis), Edmond (Tim True), Peter (JD Stanton) and Susan (Elizabeth Brockway) each added the unique personalities C. S. Lewis created. The songs they sang with their uncle, the professor (Jordan Wetherbee), were heartwarming and sometimes funny. All the voices blended nicely together and the kids played well off each other while staying in character during the songs. Evelyn’s voice was lovely and strong, especially for a nine year old. Mrs. Macready (Rachel Neely) did a fabulous job of being grumpy, bossy and angry; truly giving the children many reasons to fear her even though they could not stop their curiosity, so their curiosity stayed mostly in Narnia.

As the children enter into the land of Narnia, they truly capture the wonder and excitement of young explorers. Lucy’s innocence and joy with the creatures of Narnia are in contrast to Edmond’s greed as he meets the evil Witch and her minions. The White Witch (Grace Brockway) pretends to be beautifully sweet, yet is cruel, malicious and constantly has to catch herself when her temper starts to flair so as not to frighten Edmond. Grace does an amazing job at quickly changing her voice and facial expressions. The effect of the smoking Ambrosia drink is a nice touch. Justin Wing, who played the dwarf, did an exceptional job of staying in character, always hunched over, and his looks of frustration were priceless throughout the play. Mr. Beaver (Patrick Timmis) and Mrs. Beaver (Kelsie Sundberg) are an absolutely adorable, helpful couple as they try to keep the children safe from the witch. Their arguments and silly antics really make this play extra fun to watch. They have wonderful country-folk accents. Every single actor and actress displays his/her strengths in playing the various roles of strange creatures. Each student studied how real animals similar to their parts acted so they could be very authentic, as exemplified by Glimfeather the Eagle played by Christian Timmis, Tumnus the Faun (Matthew Gifford), and so many others.

The Wolves, played by Issac Bowman, Aaron Porter and Michael Starbuck as Fenris Ulf, were wonderfully ferocious, and their choreography during the chase scenes and the war was grand. Stacy Bowman as the White Stag is absolutely phenomenal in her dancing. Her ballet moves are those of a mature dancer, although she is only 12. She is graceful and adds to the whole mood of the play in each of her dances, showing sadness and various other emotions through the medium of ballet. The other dancers with Stacy help to add to the beauty of each dance routine. This choreography is especially brilliant.

Photo by Joshua Moxon. The star of the play, Aslan (Ian Attila), brought every emotion that C.S. Lewis wanted you to feel as Aslan being the Savior of Narnia and the sacrificial lamb for Edmond and all the others. His booming, almost roaring voice is perfect for the character, his singing bringing the house down. His deep, mature, strong and emotional voice helped you to feel each word in each song he sang and each line he spoke. The song Inside Out that Aslan sings to Edmond helps us all to see that we can change with God’s help, and the powerful hug at the end of the scene touches your heartstrings. When Aslan sacrifices himself, the play truly becomes a visual for Christ dying for our sins. As the evil creatures take Aslan away, he is stretched out on a large stick (a symbol of the cross). When his followers lament, the scene is striking, sad, and well choreographed.

The final war scene is done with flashing lights and is powerful as Aslan roars for 10-15 seconds straight, and when the White Witch is attacked by Aslan, her blood-curdling scream is the End of All Evil.

The students and adults all worked famously together to make this play an event to remember. I was blessed to be able to go and see the multi-talented young people.

Performed January 11-12 &17-19, 2008 at Comstock Community Auditorium

Photos by Joshua Moxon.

Roshelle Hall
National Youth Theatre

~ Cast ~

Photo by Joshua Moxon.Followers of Aslan
JD Stanton - Peter
Elizabeth Brockway - Susan
Tim True - Edmond
Evelyn Timmis - Lucy
Ian Attila - Aslan
Matthew Gifford - Tumnus
Kelsie Sundberg - Mrs. Beaver
Patrick Timmis - Mr. Beaver
Alex VanDyk - Bull
Daniel DuPraw - Leopard
Julie DeBoer - Unicorn
Christian Timmis - Glimfeather the Eagle

Stacy Bowman (White Stag), Melissa Kuneli (Naiad), 
Allison Sobanski (Naiad), Bethany Post (Velina)

Sarah Beason (Squirrel), Seth Bishop (Dog), Rose Gifford (Owl),
Elijah Morley (Badger), Kameron Winblad (Hedgehog), Emily Wright (Panther)

Hannah Ailes (Wyocena), Hanna Hoffbeck (Artamisia), 
Hannah Mayer (Iola), Anna Timmis (Cambra)

Aslan’s Army
Breanne Bishop (Moth), Annie Flynn (Etna), Ian Flynn (Phoenix),
Madelaine Martin (Butterfly), Nathan Martin (Gorf), Breilen Maybee
(Goat), Kristina Starbuck (Ichaban), Hattie Straube (Groundhog), Levi
VanDyke (Osseo), Brianna Wetherbee (Raccoon)

Followers of The White Witch
Grace Brockway - White Witch
Jordan Wetherbee - Professor/Evil Warrior
Rachel Neely - Mrs. Macready/Evil Warrior
Mack Chrisman - Father Christmas/ Evil Warrior
Justin Wing - Dwarf
Michael Starbuck - Fenris Ulf

Lindsey Follman, Kaitlyn Mayer, Janae Stanton, Libby Timmis

Isaac Bowman, Aaron Porter

Peter DeKoekkoek (Gorgon), Ian Durham (Zombie), Jacob Dehart (Boggle),
Becca Fluty (Specter), Rachel Timmer (Ghoul), Abby Timmis (Hag), Luke Webb

Witch’s Army
Kaitlyn Beuckelaere (Serpentine), Megan Brown (Muzzler), Madelyn 
Claussen (Glarus), Morgan Combs (Pence), Carissa Drum (Ettin), Lars
Hoffbeck (Recnef), Kelli Starbuck (Minotaur), Joshua Stevens (Gumus),
Caleb VanDyke (Grundsworth), Johnna Wing (Vulmer), Tori Wright (Howler

Brad Garnaat - Director
Sandra Hoffbeck - Assistant Director
Beverly Bishop - Production Manager
AlysonTimmis - Asst. Production Manager
Cole Warner - Production Assistant
Cathy Krieg - Choreography
Suzette Lutes, Natalie Krieg - Choreography
Sara Knight - Conductor
Donna DeKoekkoek - Stage Manager
Thad Bishop - Sound Engineer
Zach Lutes - Light Board/Design
Luke DeBoer - Light Cue/Design
Sherrie Attila, Deb Mayer - Costumes
Steve Maybee - Sets

Photo by Joshua Moxon.

Photo by Joshua Moxon.


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