The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe
Studio 1 puts magical spin on C.S. Lewis tale
By Charity Apple / Times-News
Posted Nov. 19, 2015 at 3:00 AM
Studio 1’s production of “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” is magical.
News reels from World War II are combined with computer-generated graphics and lighting techniques to make this show visually appealing to millennials and technology-savvy young people while remaining true to C.S. Lewis’ timeless tale.
Twenty sign language interpreters, from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro’s (UNCG) Professions in Deafness program, are all dressed in black and not only “shadow” the actors, but are seamlessly part of the show, becoming an extension of the performers.
Forty-five additional performers make up the cast, but despite the large number, it never feels crowded on the intimate stage. The imagination of what exists in Narnia, beyond the wardrobe doors, is beautifully portrayed through woodland creatures, dwarves, elves and ghouls. Some of the hissing and deep guttural sounds made by the actors are truly chilling, given the fact the Halloween holiday just ended. So that’s something to keep in mind if younger theatergoers are in attendance. During Tuesday’s preview performance, which included close to 100 people, a few youngsters were taken aback by the actors dressed in ghoulish costumes.
Transforming into a character is Dale Johnson’s specialty. As Maugrim the wolf, he is on his hands and knees, bounding around on stage like an animal would — stalking his prey. It’s an exceptional, memorable performance by the talented actor.
Kate Dahlquist, as the White Witch, is delightfully devilish. While being almost unrecognizable underneath all of the makeup and green hair, Dahlquist’s evil laugh and intimidating demeanor certainly had the audience under her spell.
Rachel Teseneer, Aidan Tysinger, Veronica Newsome and Tyler Haugle as Susan, Edmund, Lucy and Peter Pevensie, respectively, are mesemerizing. Their wide-eyed wonderment is combined with the fearful glances and apprehension as they experience the world of Narnia.