Heroes will rise, magical animals will speak and the bonds of family will be tested in the Pine City High School Auditorium this weekend as the drama department presents “The Lion, The Witch & the Wardrobe.”
The story is based on the classic fantasy novel for children written by C.S. Lewis, and was also turned into a animated movie in 1979, a TV series in the late 1980s, and was made a live-action film in 2005.
Director Becky Schueller described the play as, “One hour of quick entertainment.
“These guys have been working really hard,” Schueller said. “It’ll just be a fun, ighthearted afternoon ... or evening.”
She said she has had a lot of fun allowing the students to have some creativity with this show.
“About half a dozen students created their own costumes for the show, which is something we’ve never done before,” Schueller said, chuckling. “Because this show is probably 80% animal and 20% human, there’s this new element of creating animal characters through makeup.”
The play tells the story of Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy Pevensi, who are evacuated from London during World War II and sent to live with an old professor in the English countryside. While exploring the professor’s house, the children discover an enchanted wardrobe that leads them into the magical land of Narnia. Once there, they find adventures as they befriend talking animals and face down the evil White Witch.
Chris Shellito plays Mr. Beaver in the play – one of the first magical animals that the children encounter.
“The beavers are funny,” Shellito said. “They’re cute and they’re chubby, they have their own personalities. They’re like the parents of the kids in Narnia.”
Shellito said he has enjoyed the part, and – having already seen several movies and shows about Narnia – said it has given him new insight into this dream world of magic.
“I just like really like the environment of it, and how it’s based off of different stories,” he said.
He said he has truly appreciates his fellow cast and crew members, who have been working hard to bring Nsrnia to life.
“The cast with the plays ... it’s kind of like a family,” he said. “But I also enjoy acting and getting into that character. And of course, giving that amazing show the last week of the play, and everyone is proud of it. We put a lot of work into it, and we make it happen.
“It’s going to be an amazing play, Shellito said. “We have a good credit of being a small town but still putting on amazing plays. I would definitely say, if you did enjoy the Narnia movies, especially the old-school one, you should come see it.”
Showtimes for “The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe” at the Pine City High School Auditorium will be Friday, May 31 at 7 p.m., Saturday, June 1 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, June 2 at 2 p.m.