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The Arts

Performing Arts | Fall Play

Fall Play 2017, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

“The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” delighted audiences with four performances over the weekend of November 30 to December 2. All were enchanted by the magical story, with unconventional scene changes done by dancing Wood Nymphs wearing fairy lights. The skilled technical team produced a living, breathing world with ever-changing light trees, perfect for the dramatic battle scenes. Cast members and the makeup crew enjoyed creating animal faces as well as the fantastical Wood Nymphs and Evil Followers of the White Witch.

Director Baird Kistner says:
“So, not your typical bedtime story… but maybe that’s why it stayed with me from childhood: this frozen, bleak, and sharp world explored by a pair of undersized brothers and sisters. And yet these pre-adults not only survived--they overcame the land’s challenges and in time ruled this mystical realm.

“Up to this point, I had directed shows that, while funny and heartwarming at places, didn’t require much introspection. My directorial approach had been Outside In: hold your body like this, tilt your head like so, and inflect these words. However, this show required an emotional realism that I did not want to just mimic. So the cast and I spent time discussing the internals of the characters, using Stanislavksi’s method to try to unlock their objectives, super objectives, subtext, and the magic “if”. It takes longer, but the end results are moments grounded in reality. I hope what you see is not mythical characters, but our own struggles reflected back through this fantastical land.”

For this production, we would like to shine the spotlight on someone who is integral to our performing arts program: Sarah Gladish. Ms. Sarah plays many roles at ANC--including The Academian Advisor and Student Support Teacher, as well as her many contributions in performing arts: Dance Team Director, Performing Arts Portfolio Teacher, Cappies Mentor, and Choreographer for the musicals. Usually, she is not involved in our fall play, but the script called for Wood Nymphs to do the on-stage scene changes, so why not have dancing Wood Nymphs?

Always looking for opportunities for her students to have opportunities to perform, she suggested that members of ANC’s Dance Team be the Wood Nymphs and choreograph bits of dance during the scene changes. This small good deed did not go unpunished, as the director immediately took advantage of her kind offer and made it a much bigger role (this is theater, after all!) but Ms. Sarah willingly volunteered hours of her own time to make it happen. What you see on stage tonight is student choreographed with mentorship from Ms. Sarah--we are grateful to her and all the Wood Nymphs for their hard work!

“That perhaps is the deepest magic of all.”

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Academy of the New Church Secondary Schools

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