“It was a dark and stormy night.”
So begins the tale of Meg Murry, a stubborn girl who is the only one who can save the universe. Sounds simple, right? She only has to “tesser” through all of space and time, find her long-lost father, and defy the unimaginable tug of hypnotism from IT — not so simple.
Madeline L’Engle’s classic book, “A Wrinkle In Time,” is brought to an entirely new level in Childsplay’s stage play, directed by Dwayne Hartford.
This thought-provoking story starts with Meg and her nerdy brother, Charles Wallace, who always seems to be able to read Meg’s mind. Then a mystifying stranger turns up, telling them that there is such a thing as a “tesseract.”
Soon, the siblings meet Calvin, and together they discover Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who, and Mrs. Which, three magical ladies who send them on the quest of a lifetime. They journey using the tesseract, a short way of traveling through time. They find Meg’s father on an evil planet controlled by IT — a giant brain Meg must confront whose hypnotism is incredibly strong.
“A Wrinkle in Time” stars Rebecca Duckworth as Meg, Will Hightower as Calvin, Cullen Law as Charles Wallace, Debra K. Stevens as Mrs. Whatsit, Yolanda London as Mrs. Who, and Kyle Sorrell as Father, and they all did an incredible job on the stage.
When asked what they hoped the audience would take away from this play, London answered, “Meg learns [at the end of the show] that what she considers to be her faults are ultimately what saves her ... There’s something cool and awesome about accepting who you are and using exactly who you are to make your world better.”
In addition to the fantastic acting on stage, the costumes, designs and stage technology were also a wonder.
Behind a screen, wired lights were strung across the back of the stage to create the stars. Stevens’ centaur costume had beautiful, giant wings that extended out when Duckworth operated them from her seat on the horse body.
Many fly-in objects were put to use as well, and pulleys and ropes operated them.
On the floor of the stage, tape was used to mark where props stopped and moved during the production.
The cast practiced 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. six days a week for three weeks until they got into the actual theater, when they practiced ten hours per day! The stage director, Samantha Monson, had only three days to put together all the lights, sounds, fly-ins, and technology — and they turned out to be one of the best parts of the play!
I thought “A Wrinkle in Time” was one of the most humorous, clever, engaging and best plays I have been to.
As Duckworth said, “When I was a kid and the schools took us to see shows like this, I remember those very vividly, and they changed my life. Reading a book is an amazing thing, but seeing a story on stage, for me, is entirely different and much more powerful.”
I know I will remember this one for many years to come, and I’m sure you will, too! “A Wrinkle in Time” has been brilliantly put together to create a phenomenal production you’ll never forget!
• This article was originally published by Childsplay on its Kid Reporter Blog. For more information, visit www.childsplayaz.org.