The Providence Players (PPF) continue their 17th season with a holiday treat for the whole family. On December 12, 2014, PPF will open The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe the C.S Lewis classic adapted by award winning playwright Joseph Robinette at the James Lee Community Center in Falls Church This beloved C.S. Lewis classic that has inspired generations of readers, young and old alike, for more than 60 years will is directed for PPF by Brian O’Connor. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe will run for two weeks from December 12 through December 21st for nine performances included four Saturday and Sunday matinees as well as evening performances on Thursday Friday and Saturday.
Meet the Cast
Director Brian O’Connor has assembled an outstanding cast of Providence Players veterans and some remarkably talented new comers and young people. Let’s meet the cast of “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe::
Iris Berendes-Dean (Unicorn) is a 9th grade student, excited to participate in her first PPF show. Recently Iris was part of the ensemble in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Evita Musical at Theater Lab in North West Washington, DC. Iris enjoys playing classical guitar and singing in her spare time.
Nicholas Carlin (Edmund) is excited to be working with so many other talented actors and actresses in Narnia. He has been in kid-only productions (Cinderella, Best Little Theater, Mulan) but has never performed with PPF. Nick has grown very fond of his “brother and sisters.” He is the youngest of four and has always been known as the “Drama King” to his family. His hobbies include diving, running, jumping on our trampoline, eating candy, and hanging out with friends.
Stephanie Celem (White Stag) is in her last year of middle school. She has been dancing since she was 3 years old and she has been in many theatre camp productions over the last 6 years, such as this summer’s premiere of The American House at GMU and Oz at Synetic Theatre where she was delighted to play the Wicked Witch of the West. Stephanie is thrilled to be joining PPF for her first community theatre production.
Roberto “Rob” Cuevas (Fenris Ulf) just recently discovered acting this year. This is his third production having appeared in South Pacific as CDR Harbison with CRT in Woodbridge and Guys and Dolls as Big Jule with McLean Community Players. He’s also done an Al Capone monologue for the NVTA One Act Festival and shot episodes for an Investigative Discovery show as well as an untitled mob series for an, as yet, undisclosed cable channel. Rob is very excited to be part of the Narnia cast and crew and wishes everyone happy holidays filled with peace, love and hope. May we have more Aslan and less Fenris Ulf in our lives next year!
Samantha Feldman (Wood Nymph/Panther) is thrilled to be joining PPF for the first time for this production. Samantha recently appeared in the Castaways Repertory Theatre production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Peaseblossom). She has also appeared in several productions at The Langley School including The Canterville Ghost (Vampire Dutchess), Annie (July), James and the Giant Peach (Narrator), and Rogers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella (Ensemble). Outside of theater, Samantha is a skilled ballroom dancer and lacrosse player.
Bill Fleming (Aslan) is happy to be back with PPF once again this holiday season after playing the Ghost of Christmas Present (and other assorted hangers on) in last year’s production of A Christmas Carol. Thanks to Brian for the opportunity and the whole PPF family for the welcoming, positive environment they create.
Kyleigh Friel (Lucy) is thrilled to be reunited with her PPF family for the third holiday season. With PPF she appeared as Gladys Herdman in The Best Christmas Pageant Ever and Belinda Crachit in A Christmas Carol. She has performed at the McLean Community Center and Joy of Dance company. Kyleigh is an avid softball and volleyball player and enjoys singing in her school’s advanced treble choir.
Beth Gilles-Whitehead (White Witch) is proud of her 11-year association with PPF. She has acted, directed, designed costumes and many other jobs that one can volunteer for and contribute to as a community theatre member. Roles she has played: Mame Dennis in Auntie Mame, M’Lynne in Steel Magnolias, Charlotte in Moon Over Buffalo and others. Directing: The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, All My Sons, Waiting in the Wings, The Good Doctor as well as working with wonderful, kind, creative and fun people.
Julie Janson (Mrs. Beaver, Props) is thrilled to be performing in her second PPF production. She has also performed as Curley’s Wife in PPF’s Of Mice and Men. Prior to that, she directed at Ramstein High School and performed and directed extensively while studying at Boston University. When she is not pursuing her love of the stage, Julie serves as an active duty officer in the U.S. Air Force and volunteers with Mainline Animal Rescue, DC Actors for Animals, and Braille Tails to help animals in need.
Nicole Owens (Elf) is in 8th grade at Longfellow MS. Last year she played Belinda Cratchit in the Little Theater of Alexandria’s A Christmas Carol. Nicole also played Zuzu, Young Violet, and Janie in It’s a Wonderful Life and had a part in The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, both with PPF. Prior to those, she was a village child in the Mariinsky Opera’s War and Peace, and an angel in the Pennsylvania Ballet’s Nutcracker, both at the Kennedy Center. Nicole spends most of her after school hours on homework, gymnastics, and reading.
Ethan Phillips (Peter) is thrilled to be appearing in his sixth production with PPF, after performing in the award-winning All My Sons (Bert), It’s a Wonderful Life (Young George), Auntie Mame (Emory), The Best Christmas Pageant Ever (Max) and A Christmas Carol (Peter/Dick Wilkins). He has also appeared on stage in Seussical (Woodson High School) and A Year with Frog and Toad. Ethan is in 8th grade at Frost Middle School and enjoys playing lacrosse and spending time with his friends.
Abby Pierce (Dwarf) is making her first appearance on stage under her new name. She married West Pierce in June. In August, the couple moved to Alexandria. Abby received an AA in art and theatre in 2013. Her most recent and best loved role was Toto in The Wizard of Oz. Since graduating, she has focused on film work. Look for her in the background of Selma – coming to theaters in February. Abby teaches tots’ fitness classes, attends birthday parties as Disney princesses and interns at Stone Soup Films.
Kristen Pilgrim (Tumnus, Fight Choreographer) is delighted to work with PPF for the first time. Kristen is an actor, director, fight choreographer, and educator. DIRECTING: Seussical Jr.! (S. Berkshire School) The Immortal Jellyfish (Avalanche), The Shrewing of the Tamed (UnRuly Women), Big Bad (Encore), The Poet and the Rent (Traveling Players Ensemble) ASST DIRECTION: Rorschach, Signature, American Century Theatre. FIGHT DIRECTION: Into the Woods (NextStop), On the Waterfront (TACT), The Hobbit (Encore) Caesar and Dada (WSC Avant Bard, Assistant,) ACTING: Val in The Tournament (Live Action Theatre, company member) TRAINING: BA in Theatre, Psychology, College of William and Mary.
Tashi Poe (Wood Nymph/Rabbit)is thrilled to be a part of PPF for this production. She would like to thank her aunt for introducing her to theater. She has recently appeared in Willy Wonka: The Musical. Tashi has greatly enjoyed this experience with PPF and hopes to be a member for many years to come.
Zach Todd (Father Christmas) is excited to be back with PPF for his third show. He previously appeared on PPF’s stage in A Christmas Carol and The House of Blue Leaves. Once done with Graduate School, he hopes to do more theater and explore his other hobbies which include traveling, writing, and playing nerdy games with friends.
Emma Ward (Wood Nymph/Fox)is so excited to be performing in this production. This is her first show with PPF. She has performed in school plays and has danced with Cuppett Performing Arts Center in Vienna for over 10 years. Emma is in 10th grade at Marshall High School and enjoys singing in the choir there.
Meghan Ward (Wood Nymph/Fox) is thrilled to be a part of this wonderful production, her first with PPF. She has previously appeared in several school and camp shows as well as numerous dance performances with Cuppett Performing Arts Center. Meghan is currently a sophomore at Marshall High School. In her free time she enjoys dancing, playing the piano, and singing.
David Whitehead (Mr. Beaver, Co-Producer) has had the pleasure of participating in many PPF productions. He has played Marley in A Christmas Carol, George Bailey in It’s a Wonderful Life, Gabe in Dinner with Friends, Chris in All My Sons, and Banjo in The Man Who Came to Dinner. David is Treasurer, Past President and a current member of the PPF Board.
Jack Wright (Wood Nymph/Raccoon) Some may know Jack as Fish (nick name). This is his first time in any sort of play or theater. “My Aunt Margo told my Mom about the play and I decided to give it a try. I am 12 years old and my friends mean the world to me and I’m so thankful to be here with the Providence Players.”
Rachel Yeager (Susan) is a graduate of Grove City College where she studied Communications and Theatre while performing in numerous shows that no one has ever heard of (Carnival and The Apple Tree, for instance). After college she managed to break this mold and appear in better-known productions such as Oklahoma! and Fiddler on the Roof. She also recently had the opportunity to study acting in New York City. If you are unfamiliar with Narnia, she highly suggests that after the show you brew yourself a cup of tea and read the book. (And everything else written by C.S. Lewis.) Further up and further in!
Gabriel Spratt (Centaur) is a sophomore at Bishop O’Connell high school. He has performed in several other shows such as The Little Mermaid, The Wizard of Oz and most recently, The Trials of Robin Hood. He is excited for this show and is grateful to be a part of this production
Fabulous Live Theater for the Whole Family!
SOMETHING DIFFERENT FOR THE HOLIDAYS!
Thursday, Friday and Saturday 7:30 p.m. December 12, 13, 18, 19 & 20 Saturday & Sunday Matinees 2:00 p.m. December 13, 14, 20 & 21
Just $17 for General Admission Seating – Half of all net proceeds from this production will be donated to Young Hearts Foundation
At the James Lee Community Center Theater
2855 Annandale Rd Falls Church Virginia 22042
Order online to assure your desire date – tickets will also be available at the door – Box Office Opens 40 minutes before show time For questions about purchasing tickets or your ticket order, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a voicemail at 703-425-6782.
The run time of this production is approximately 100 minutes including a 15 min intermission
Great Theater for A Great Cause
The Providence Players and The Young Hearts Foundation are, once again, proud to bring you outstanding live theater for a great cause. Half of all net proceeds from this production will be donated to Young Hearts Foundation that strives to improve the lives of young people affected by long-term illness. For the past two years, over $16,000 was generated to support this important cause, and PPF hopes to increase its support in 2014.
Directed by Brian O’Connor Produced by Prince McLaughlin and David Whitehead
Four children, evacuated from London during World War II, explore their new country home. Lucy, the youngest, stumbles upon a curious wardrobe, climbs in and discovers a magical forest in the land of Narnia. The land is under the power of a White Witch, and soon Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy must lead an entire kingdom in a fight for good. This popular and heart-warming tale is full of mystical creatures, talking animals and Aslan, the great lion and ruler of Narnia. A holiday treat that is good for the entire family.
Co-Produced by Providence Players and The Young Hearts
Nine performances including 4 Saturday and Sunday matinees as well as a Thursday evening performance in addition to Friday and Saturday evenings.
About the Play: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, a timeless and enchanting tale that has been a favorite of children and adults for decades, was written by C.S. Lewis in 1950. This stage adaptation brings all of the magic and majesty of Lewis’ Narnia to the stage and has been neatly condensed by award-winning playwright Joseph Robinette. The adventures of four children who inadvertently wander into an old wardrobe into the exciting, never-to-be-forgotten Narnia are faithfully recreated, along with the benevolence and mystery of Aslan, the great lion, and his struggle with the White Witch. Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy are the four otherwise ordinary children until Lucy discovers a wardrobe that is really a gateway to the enchanted land of Narnia. The evil White Witch has cursed the land with eternal winter and turned many of her enemies to stone. With the arrival of the children, the land begins to change, murmurs of a prophecy surface, and rumors soon spread that Aslan, the beloved lion king, is going to return. All the memorable episodes from the story are represented in this exciting dramatization: the temptation of Edmund by the witch, the slaying of the evil wolf by Peter, the guidance of Aslan as the children are crowned the four new rulers of Narnia, and more. The supporting characters are also here: the unicorn, the centaur and other forest animals, along with Father Christmas, Mr. and Mrs. Beaver and Tumnus the Faun. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is truly a story of love, faith, courage and giving, and the triumph of good over evil. This beloved C.S. Lewis classic has inspired generations of readers, young and old alike, for more than 60 years.
About the Director: This is director Brian O’Connor’s 6th show working with the award winning Providence Players. Previously he has directed It’s A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play (twice) and last winter’s A Christmas Carol. A graduate of Catholic University’s drama department, Brian has been seen on stage at Ford’s Theater, Arena Stage, Olney Theatre, the Kennedy Center, and with other theater groups in the area. He was a member of the Interact Theatre Company for 5 years and performed with many of the founding acting members of Arena Stage in his career. When not working with PPF, Brian is a sports announcer for major equestrian competitions throughout the United States and was one of the stadium announcers for the Olympic Games in China in 2008. Brian is an inventive director with an eye for detail and staging and his productions are always rich, imaginative and delightful.