PRINCE CASPIANAdaptation by Taffy Geisel
From the book by C.S. Lewis
Artisan Center Theater
Director - Taffy Geisel
Stage Manager - Tammie Phillips
Set Design - Jason Leyva
Scenic Design - Lilly Stapp
Costume Design - Shannon Loose
Sound Design - Joey Geisel
Original Music Composition-Joey Geisel
Choreography - Brandi Dilber
Makeup Design - Shannon Loose, Julie Lee, Mayre Stewart
THIS PLAY IS DOUBLE CAST.
Peter Pevensie - Aaron Midkiff
Susan Pevensie - Kenady Shope
Edmund Pevensie - Jeff Carr
Lucy Pevensie - Sandie Leyva
Soldier I - Teighlor Coppedge
Soldier II/Werewolf - Cameron Milton
Soldier III - Tori Beth Pilcher
Soldier IV - Ryan Derrick
King Miraz - Jack Lindsay
Small Caspian/Neepideep - David Midkiff
Middle Caspian/Dwarf - Issac Jarrell
Prince Caspian - Jacob Fergus
Nurse/Hag - Neeli Wilson
Lady Sopespian - Bailey Jarrell
Lord Glozelle - Duncan Rogers
Trumpkin - David Rodriguez
Doctor Cornelius - Troy Cooksey
Nikabrik - Spencer Laboda
Trufflehunter - Natalie Laboda
Bulgy Bear - Caitlyn Latham
Pattertwig - Haley Wooster
Glenstorm - David Phillips
Reepicheep - Ben Bledsoe
Peepiceek - Ethan Jarrell
Camillo - Caleb Midkiff
Wimbleweather - Bethany Jarrell
Willow Tree - Victoria Savill
Silver Birch - Savannah Paleschi
Reviewed Performance: 2/14/2011
Reviewed by Kristopher A. Harrison, Associate Critic for John Garcia's THE COLUMN
Prince Caspian, the second installment in the Chronicles of Narnia Series, picks up the action hundreds of years after the Pevensie children were crowned kings and queens of Narnia and then returned to England. Narnia has fallen under the control of the Talmarines. Caspian, the heir apparent to the throne, has grown up hearing myths of the old Narnia, with talking animals and with just and righteous kings and queens. When his ascent to the throne is threatened, he must flee for his life. Caspian flees deep into the forest of Narnia, where he does indeed encounter all the creatures he grew up hearing about: talking badgers, dwarves, squirrels, bears, and centaurs. Soon, he and his new friends must fight the Talmarine army for his throne, and the Pevensie children return to help set Narnia right once again.
Jason Leyva and Lilly Stapp's scenic work did a good job of creating the world of Narnia. They utilized every corner of the small theatre in the round, and utilized it well. Shannon Loose's costumes, too, successfully walked the line between the necessary fantasy world of the play and the practical, budget-conscious world of reality. In particular, she should be commended for her creative tree costumes and for creating a giant.
The makeup design team also deserved recognition for their fine work. Designing makeup for a small theater space is hard; designing makeup for fantasy characters is hard, and yet they did both and it well. Another very pleasant surprise was the original music created by Joey Geisel. Geisel's created several short pieces to transition between scenes and key moments, and his sound design greatly enhanced the mood, and gave the whole play a cinematic feel.
There were far too many actors to comment on each performance, but taken as a whole the show was well cast and well executed. The play was cast largely with children and teenagers, and there was quite a bit of talent to be found at this little theater. Some bright spots were worth noting, however.
Sadie Leyva, the youngest of the Pevensie Children, had a surprising emotional range for her age, and was incredibly poised, even in the midst of prop difficulties.
The comedic highlight of the show was the small ensemble of forest residents, Trumpkin, Nikabrik, Trufflehunter, and Pattertwig. David Rodriguez as Trumpkin was perhaps the funniest individual performer.
Credit must be given to Taffy Geisel's direction, as she allowed Rodriguez the freedom to create some truly funny moments while knowing when to reign in the "hamminess". Haley Wooster played the exceedingly energetic squirrel Pattertwig, and struck just the right balance between silly and obnoxious to become a crowd favorite. Spencer Laboda's talent was underused as Nikabrik. His vocal and physical work created a very solid, believable dwarf. And Natalie Laboda rounded out the talented group with her caring, motherly badger.
Although there were some frustrating blocking moments and the pacing was a bit slow, in general, this was an enjoyable evening. My eight-year old companion said, "I wish there didn't have to be an intermission". Although I can't quite share that sentiment, Prince Caspian was a nice evening out for the family.
Artisan Center Theater, 418 E. Pipeline Road, Hurst, TX 76053
Plays through March 12th.
Run time approximately 2 hours with one 20 minute intermission.
Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30pm and Saturdays at 3:00pm
Tickets priced $7-9 for children, $12-16 for adults.
Call 817-284-1200 or artisanct.com