Kankakee Valley Theatre Association’s Young People’s Theatre presents “Narnia” this weekend in Kankakee, based on C.S. Lewis’ 1950 fantasy novel “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.”
The novel focuses on the characters Peter, Susan and Edmund Pevensie as they are evacuated from London during the Blitz and sent to live with a professor in the English countryside. After finding an enchanted wardrobe, the trio are transported to the land of Narnia.
Through a lot of magic and adventure, the children rush to save their own lives, as well as the land of Narnia, with some help from a lion named Aslan.
Directed by Rozy Labriola, the cast of “Narnia” ranges from age 8 to 16. Directing young actors was a challenge for Labriola, but not in a bad way.
“They’re so susceptible to new things and absorbing knowledge,” Labriola said.
“I think giving direction to young minds is easier because they still have so much room to grow and learn. Some adults have done so much already and may have a lot more experience to go off of.”
This will be Labriola’s third time directing with KVTA.
“I went from ‘Moments of Christmas’ straight into ‘Narnia,’ and last fall I directed ‘Madagascar,’” she said. “I’ve also directed twice for Country Theatre Workshop in past years.”
What’s the best part about this production, and why should people get tickets to see it?
“This production shows the best of what the novel has to offer,” Labriola said.
Unlike those who fell in love with the story of “Narnia” at a young age, Labriola fell in love with it when she was older.
“With the music, lights, costumes and the acting ability of these kids, it shows the story in a way that a person could only envision in their wildest dreams,” Labriola said.
“From snow covered trees, to stags that dance, it is definitely a feast for all the senses — except smell of course.”
You can catch “Narnia” performed by the Young People’s Theater at 7 p.m. Saturday and at 2 p.m. Sunday on the Lincoln Cultural Center stage at 240 Warren Ave., Kankakee. Tickets cost $12 and can be found by following the link on the event’s Facebook page. Search: KVTA’s Narnia.