Making of Children's Play
Design by Caleb Immel
A Note from the Director:
“Since it is so likely that children will meet cruel enemies, let them at least have heard of brave knights and heroic courage”- C.S. Lewis
During World War 2, a group of children were sent to the British country-side to the home of a humble professor in order to avoid the London air strikes. These children inspired that professor, also known as author, C.S. Lewis, to redefine the boundaries of imagination for generations of children to come. C.S. Lewis wrote letters throughout this time of housing evacuee children from the war, often showing grave concern over the “modern children’s” lack of imagination, trauma from their displacement due to the war and inability to keep themselves amused. In 1935 he wrote, “I often wonder what the present generation of children will grow up like…they have been treated with so much indulgence, yet so little affection, with so much science and so little mother-wit. Not a fairy tale, nor a nursery rhyme”. I see a genuine parallel between C.S. Lewis’ concern for the children of his time and my own concern, as an educator, for the children of our own time.
Imaginations rendered inadequate by flashy technology, attention absorbed by smart phones and empathy impacted by a pandemic that kept us isolated from one another…our children are also suffering from an inability to unlock and activate their own imaginations. And once again, C.S. Lewis seems to have the answer: Narnia. Narnia is an extraordinary place that exists within the overlooked, ordinary crevices of our day to day world. Though always under your nose, this world of magic and imagination requires a closer look, a hopeful heart and a childlike wonder to unlock and embrace. In our production, we insist you take a deeper look at the world around you to find the magic that is just out of plain sight, waiting to remind you that courage, community and hope are the ideals that hold us together in the most trying times.
Our production consists of devised elements crafted and created by our students through movement, dance, improvisation and character inspiration. These moments that have been added to the play were thought up and crafted through collaboration of the cast. This is the first show we have worked to incorporate devised elements into and the students have been so excited to embrace this unique form of theatre to create a physical vocabulary that allows them to tell classic tales in new and creative ways. We hope that through this work, the world and inhabitants of Narnia come alive for you and your family to enjoy. Take a moment to turn off your phone, your worries, your outside world and allow yourself a moment to remember what it is to be swept up in childlike wonder with no boundaries on your imagination.