image of performers in The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe on stage

Behind The Scenes: The Lion, The Witch, & The Wardrobe (Video)

Brehind the Scenes With Do & Go LogoEnchantment is heating up at Imagination Stage where The Lion, The Witch, & The Wardrobe (LWW) is delighting children and adults. LWW has something for everyone—dancing, singing, sword play, puppets, talking beast, magical beast, and theater snow (!!) LWW relates the adventures of the four Pevensie children in the magical land of Narnia which is under enchantment by the evil White Witch.

Imagination Stage has teamed up with The Washington Ballet to create a bewitching interpretation of this epic tale that is easily accessible to young children. Each of the main characters has an actor-self and a dancer-self. Sometimes they’re all on stage together. Kids will easily be able to identify which actor and which dancer go together by their costumes. The script, music and acting would have been enough to make this an enthralling experience but the dancers deepen the emotional content and move the story along its magical path.

In this story, the character of eight year-old Edmund, played by Rafael Cuesta, and danced by Daniel Savetta, is out of sync with his three siblings and frightened by the chaos of WWII. Since a child can’t say this in words, Edmund acts out and tells lies. These dark and confused feelings are beautifully expressed in two very powerful scenes featuring Cuesta and Daniel Savetta. Ultimately, these dark feelings weaken Edmund. When the White Witch offers him a delectable candy, Edmund does the unthinkable: he betrays his family in order to become a king. That moment sets the course for the rest of the play.
Watch this short video about Edmund’s Story of Treachery and Turkish Delight.

Children (and adults) can identify with Edmund. We’ve all been on that fast train to self destruction at one time or another. That’s partly what makes this story so powerful. Edmund’s sins are great. He must take responsibility for his mistakes and make amends. These struggles lead Edmund to become a better person. Happily, when he does ask for forgiveness, Edmund’s siblings and the parental figure of Aslan, ruler of Narnia, welcome him back into the fold. Love and forgiveness are the ancient magic underpinning the story and are wonderful life lessons to share with children.

The Lion, The Witch, & The Wardrobe will be at Imagination Stage (Bethesda) until August 12. Suitable for ages 5 and up. For ticket information, visit Do&Go Calendar.

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