Off-Broadway Family Theater Launches with 'The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe'

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Aslan is on the move off-Broadway.  On October 22nd, Off-Broadway Family Theater debuts Le Clanche du Rand’s adaption of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.  This is the first production that the small theater company has produced.

Julia O’ Brien, producer and director of this play, examined children’s theatrical entertainment choices in New York and said, “there is room for more.”  O’ Brien hopes to create “experiences that open up discussion” allowing families to “walk away with a conversation.”  Off-Broadway Family Theater is her "brain-child" that she hopes will facilitate those family learning experiences.

With this goal in mind, O’Brien says she chose this adaption of The Lion, the Witch and The Wardrobe because it gave her “a very close experience of reading the novel.”  Many times, O’ Brien feels, “you see something, and think ‘it wasn’t like it was in my imagination.’”    This play does just that.

Actors Andrew Fortman and Erin Layton are the sole performers, playing every part. O’Brien said of Fortman, “from the bratty child to Aslan,” his “talent and skill are shown off so well.”  Erin Layton “plays Lucy so beautifully and openhearted,” O’ Brien remarked.  Furthermore, the director said they “both understand the heart of the story and bring a sensitivity there.”

The mission statement of Off-Broadway Family Theater is “to provide quality theatrical experiences for family audiences by presenting both new and classic plays targeted towards children while still appealing to adults.”  Adults will be inspired to converse with their children because, as O’ Brien states, “they will find something in it for themselves.”

King’s students should take notice of Julia O’ Brien’s initiative to provide familial entertainment in the city.

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe plays Saturdays at 11 AM, beginning October 22nd, at St. Luke’s Theatre (308 W. 46th Street).  For tickets, visit: www.telecharge.com

MiscKatie Hay