Middle School Brings Magic to the Stage in the Production of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

The Arts presented the 2024 Middle School play, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe inspired by C.S. Lewis’s novel. The production featured two casts in the McGregor Family Theater with sold-out performances on May 2-4.
Midddle School Theater Teacher and Director, Katie DeShan, said she chose this popular show title to give the students the opportunity to work on a serious fantasy story in contrast to the light-hearted Middle School production in November, The Spongebob Musical. This play allowed the cast members to explore more dramatic and dark themes. Ms. DeShan said that she really enjoyed working with the cast members on an action sequence with choreography by Tessa Maryott ’25. 
The casts shared the story of four British children at the height of WWII who are sent to a mansion in the English countryside where they meet a kindly professor of mythology. When the youngest child, Lucy, steps into an old wardrobe, she finds herself in the land of Narnia. There she meets a faun, Mr. Tumnus, who warns her that while Narnia is beautiful, it is a dangerous land. Narnia is ruled by The White Witch who makes it always winter, but never Christmas and turns her enemies into stone. The conflict ensues when Edmund betrays his siblings when he is entranced by the idea of becoming the Prince of Narnia. Luckily with the help of Aslan, a lion and the true king of Narnia, the four siblings and the creatures of Narnia defeat the White Witch and spring returns. 
With help from Assistant Director Cori Samskey, Middle and Upper School mathematics teacher,  Ms. DeShan decided to have dual casts of approximately 25 cast members each. This allowed more students the opportunity to perform and to learn what it is like to work in a professional performing arts setting where you often have more than one person in a role at a time.

Audience members described the show as magical, and the beautiful set as a work of art. Technical Director and Resident Designer Gordon Richins and his technical arts team of professionals and Middle School  and Upper School students helped build and paint the scenery. Gavin Shams ’26 designed the lighting and special effects that included fog and strobes. Soren Forer ’29 stage managed, a role he assumed for the first time.
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