Three-dozen students come together under direction of one for ‘Narnia’
If you go
When: 7 p.m. tonight with two shows at 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday
Where: Summit Middle School
Info: Tickets are $8 in advance or $10 at the door. Buy them at The Welcome Office at The Peak School or by calling 720-945-1313.
Cast of “Narnia”
Selah Kreeger — writer, director, Aslan pupeteer, sound design, Creature FX/ Prosthetics
Monica Mills — Mrs. Pevensie and Mrs. MacCready
Joe Schmidt — Peter Pevensie
Alances Seiber — Susan Pevensie
Jack Renner — Edmund Pevensie
Cassidy Citron — Lucy Pevensie
Luke Wander — Professor Kirk/ St. Nicholas
Randy Losche — Aslan
Branden Lyles — Mr. Tumnus
Tanner Fox — Mr. Beaver
Alana LeBaron — Mrs. Beaver, Lighting Design
Leila Nearpass — Fox
Joey Hodge — Mr. Badger, Stage Tech
Ryan Davidson — Oreius
Jorie Benson — Jadis the White Witch
Mack Henry — Ginnibrick
Tucker Berg — Otmin
Joules Whinston — Maugrim
Kevin Cabrera — Varden
Jezzy Espinoso — Ivaylo, Creature Makeup Tech
Nathan Habermas — Lýkos
Nathaniel Lewis — Lighting and sound design, sound tech
AnnaRose Craig — Sound tech
Chase Renner — Light Tech
Hope Armstrong — Light tech
Extras & Ensemble — Abigail Grunes, Ryan Perkins, Max Nakos, Lina Stecher, Christian Seiber and Lila Nanez
Isabelle Sellers — Head of Hair and Makeup
Julia Whinston — Human Makeup Tech
Naia Tunks — Head Stage Tech
Adam Grunes — Stage Tech
Lauren DeLA Rosa — Stage Tech
Levi Quandt — Stage Tech
Keira Thorsteinson — Properties Manager
Understudies — Ryan Davidson, Peter: Selah Kreeger, Susan:; Mack Henry, Edmund; Leila Nearpass, Lucy; Jezzy Espinoso Saenz, The White Witch; and Christian Seiber, Fox.
Feet on the floor, the stage became her desk as Selah Kreeger followed the script in front of her, taking notes, giving instructions and making adjustments to everything from the lights to stage entrances.
It was Wednesday night at Summit Middle School, and more than three dozen young thespians, ages 11 to 18, were in the middle of a six-hour marathon rehearsal. The practice was one of the last they would have ahead of tonight’s opening of “Narnia,” which opens at 7 and runs through Sunday at the middle school.
It’s an entirely student-led production, complete with lights, music, choreographed dance numbers and even a set of understudies.
However, there is only one director, and in the rehearsal, it’s was no secret who that is. Kreeger is in control, and she’s barely old enough to vote. Still, she exercises her directorial control like a chef in the kitchen or a sculptor with a chisel.
“I’ve always been interested in performing arts,” Kreeger said during a break in the rehearsal. “There was just something about it that was different from any other art form I’ve tried before, and that really spoke to me. It’s such a unique art form because every night it’s live, every night it’s different and every night you have a different crowd that you’re telling the story to.”
Trying to decide between Canada or the West Coast, the young director does not yet know where she’s going to college, but she knows when she wants a spotlight, when the cast’s musical stomps miss their timing and that it’s important to smile when the newspaper photographer is around.
This isn’t Kreeger’s first time leading a show, but “Narnia” will stand as her capstone project as she prepares to graduate high school. She is one of five students on pace to earn diplomas from The Peak School this year, the first graduating class at the private school in Frisco, and all had to take on big projects.
Brett Burns, director of operations and communications at The Peak School, was there for Wednesday’s rehearsal, but he did little other than watch in amazement as the students went about their work with Kreeger at the helm.
“Every time I watch Selah direct or act, you can tell she’s really passionate about it and I’m always impressed,” he said. “Always impressed.”
For the play, Kreeger borrowed much from the popular series of books by British novelist C. S. Lewis, adapting her play from three Chronicles of Narnia sources, including the movie that came out in 2005 and earlier theatrical productions and the book published in 1950.
Her work began in August and she got some help from Breckenridge Backstage Theatre’s artistic director Christopher Willard.
After she converted the story into the script, Kreeger held auditions and picked the cast. As director and producer, she also took on the role of overseeing all aspects of the play, though the students working with her have certainly had their input — adding pieces to their parts or lending their talents for lights, sound or makeup to the show. It all happens under Kreeger’s direction, though.
“It’s amazing to see how she can coordinate so much as a director,” said Joe Schmidt, the oldest cast member at 18 years old and a student at Colorado Mountain College. “There are so many sets, and in this she’s kind of doing everything. If I were to tell one person they were going places, it would be Selah.”
But Kreeger knows she didn’t do all this alone and is quick to give the students around her credit for their contributions.
“There are a whole bunch of things that go into this,” Kreeger said, plugging her “amazing” makeup department, five techs in the control booth and Cassiday Citron for being the main choreographer. “Really it’s a team effort, and all of these guys have been dabbling in different parts.”
Tickets are $8 in advance or $10 at the door. The play opens at 7 p.m and includes four more showings at 2 and Saturday and Sunday.
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