What does it take to bring “Prince Caspian” to the stage?
An innumerable amount of time and effort has gone into preparing for the World Premiere of “Prince Caspian” on stage. Academy of the Arts Ministries has created everything used in this production… from dwarf beards to train stations, regal costumes to Caspian’s life-sized, ride-able horse Destrier. Academy volunteers and staff have worked day and night to find the music, create the light cues, sew hundreds of costumes, and experiment for hours with make-up. They have built all the sets from a ruined Cair Paravel to Aslan’s How, complete with a broken and aged Stone Table. Artistic director Nicole Stratton corresponded long distance with the C.S. Lewis Company and Douglas Gresham to finish and perfect the final script for performance. Cast and crew members have had to practice “flying” characters on stage rigging and spent months rehearsing scenes. Our stunt team has planned and choreographed over a hundred fight sequences, whilst the media team spent more than a day in the studio recording the voice of Aslan, voiced by Dr. Nicky Chavers (Academy of the Arts Ministries’ founder). Actors on stilts have learned to walk, run, and fight like living trees in Narnia. Props have been drawn, built, and painted. The team has done so much in order prepare Logos Theatre and the cast of “Prince Caspian” to present and share C.S. Lewis’ moving story of spiritual faith, trust, and new beginnings in a powerful and memorable way that only Narnia can.
Below are many Behind-the-Scenes pictures from creation to dress rehearsals, as well as, a special Behind-the-Scenes highlight video put together by our Production Manager, Joe Hainsworth.
During his time visiting South Carolina for the World Premiere of “Prince Caspian” Douglas Gresham, the step-son of C.S. Lewis, traveled around promoting “Prince Caspian” and participating in a number of local events. He spoke at Mitchell Road Christian Academy, Anderson University, and taught a Master’s Class at Logos Theatre (Academy of the Arts). Below are pictures from a few of his speaking engagements. Thanks to Sarai Manning for the photos!
The opening weekend of Prince Caspian was a great success with sold out performances and C. S. Lewis’ stepson, Douglas Gresham, in attendance to watch the World Premiere! Mr. Gresham thoroughly enjoyed the performance and told us the play was on the level of Broadway. But, he said he was refreshed to be in a setting where such professionalism was accomplished with “genuine Christians” sticking so closely to Lewis’ original story of faith. Praise the Lord!
Performances of Prince Caspian will continue from January 5th through the 21st. However, because of the overwhelming requests for tickets, we are going to be adding two performances on January 27th at 7pm and January 28th at 2pm. Please spread the word to your family and friends so they do not miss this world premiere! Call 864-268-9342 or go online to purchase your tickets before they are gone!
We wish you a happy and safe New Year with your loved ones!
I would like to express my thanks to Paul Martin and the Narnia Fans team for expressing interest in the Academy of the Arts World Premiere of “Prince Caspian” on the Logos Theatre stage.
To begin, I would like to give you some information about Academy of the Arts and how the production of “Prince Caspian” came about.
Located in Taylors, South Carolina Academy of the Arts Ministries is both a professional theatre and Christian Conservatory. Founded in 1971, by Dr. Nicky Chavers, its goal is to “make the Bible come alive” through the dramatic arts. All the plays performed at the theatre are used as giant illustrations of whatever biblical truth that is being expressed within the works. Theatre is simply a vehicle to give out the gospel and to continue to spread the good news of Jesus Christ to people across America. The staff of AotA and young people who minister through the dramas, whether conservatory students or local youth, have devoted themselves to sharing a deeper spiritual message within every production. Academy of Arts Ministries teaches skills such as costume/makeup arts, costuming, technical leadership, choreography, prop/set design, and cinematography with Venture Films.
Logos Theatre presented three seasons of “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe” beginning in 2013. It was the first production to ever have a life-sized, three-man-puppet Aslan, created by AotA technical director Ken Hines, featured. With “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe” ‘s incredible success, the Academy was nominated to perform the show across the Atlantic in Edinburgh, Scotland at an International Arts Festival. Led by the Lord Academy Artistic Director Nicole Stratton, daughter of founder Dr. Nicky Chavers, began drafting a play script for the sequel “Prince Caspian”. This was the first time anyone had tried to turn “Prince Caspian” into live theatrical format.To date, only three of the seven books have been presented at a professional level. Nicole Stratton began talking to the C.S. Lewis Company in order to obtain approval on the script so that they could have the rights to produce the play. During this lengthy process, Nicole’s script was sent to C.S. Lewis’ stepson Douglas Gresham. Many of you will be familiar with the fact that Mr. Gresham was extremely involved in the most recent production of Narnia films (2005-2010). Mr. Gresham worked alongside Nicole in editing the script. He told Nicole he was so grateful and impressed at how true she devoted she was to remaining true to the original text by C.S. Lewis. Through their communication, Nicole invited Mr. Gresham to come see the show when it premiered in December 2016. He agreed, arriving a week earlier and spending hours traveling around upstate South Carolina promoting the play, meeting the cast and crew, and finally being a special guest at the Academy’s “Beyond the Wardrobe Gala”.
Here is the special video announcement released by the Academy of the Arts:
The Gala was held at the Pointsett Club in Greenville, South Carolina on Wednesday, December 14. There were over one hundred people in attendance. Among them, the theatre sent an array of familiar characters to meet and interact with guests. Everyone from Miraz and the White Witch, to the Pevensies and Mr. and Mrs. Beaver! Even Aslan and Caspian’s horse Destrier made a very special appearance! Mr. Gresham shared stories about his childhood with C.S. Lewis and his love of “The Chronicles of Narnia”, before taking some audience questions. During the question and answer period, Mr. Gresham talked about Lewis’ favorite works, his friendship with J.R.R. Tolkien, themes and messages within the novels, his views on Susan’s ending in “The Last Battle”, the inspiration of his theological works, as well as, his faith in Jesus Christ. It was a wonderful evening where guests had the opportunity to see special behind-the-scenes footage of the making of “Prince Caspian”, meet characters, and get a picture with Mr. Gresham. It was an exciting lead up to the World Premiere of “Prince Caspian” on stage!
Attached are some pictures from the “Beyond the Wardrobe Gala”.
There have been many stage adaptations of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, but it’s time for Prince Caspian to be performed. Cast member Sarai Manning sent us details so that you can see the show, if you live within range of Taylors, South Carolina or can get there. I reached back out to her for more information, and hope to be able to share some photos of the premiere soon.
Here’s part of her report:
I have been a follower of this blog probably since 2008, right around the time the Prince Caspian film came out. I don’t check as regularly as I used to, but I am honored to be able to share with you some AMAZING NARNIA RELATED news that is changing history once again for Narnia.
Logos Theatre and the Academy of the Arts in Taylors, South Carolina is presenting the WORLD PREMIERE OF “PRINCE CASPIAN” ON STAGE.
The show was written by our amazing director Nicole Stratton and was approved by Douglas Gresham himself! In fact, Gresham liked the script so much that next week he is traveling from his home across the Atlantic ocean to come to our opening weekend performances.
I am honored enough to be a part of this cast of around 100 in bringing to the stage the story of Prince Caspian for the FIRST TIME EVER!
The show opens December 16, 2016 and runs through January 21, 2017.
I shall try and link some important information below for you.
A member of the cast of a new Prince Caspian stage show e-mailed us to let us know that Douglas Gresham is in South Carolina this week to attend the premiere of the play that will be performed at the Logos Theatre.
A few days ago he spoke about the status of The Silver Chair, saying that he expects pre-production to begin sometime next year. Depending on the speed that Sony pictures moves, the film could see a release as early as 2018. Gresham is very excited about the film and says that the script is the best yet, saying that Puddleglum’s major speech from the book is included in the movie (as it should be).
More information on The Silver Chair and the Prince Caspian stage show to come shortly.
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Hey, everybody! Welcome back to Tumnus’ Bookshelf, where we review any and all books written by, about, and inspired by C.S. Lewis, The Land of Narnia, and The Inklings. For today’s review, we will be looking at Jennifer K. Johnson’s debut fantasy novel The Dark Mountain Chronicles Book One: The House of Envy!
Title: The Dark Mountain Chronicles Book One: The House of Envy
Author: Jennifer K. Johnson
Publisher: Xulon Press (July 26, 2016)
Deep in the world of the Dark Mountain lays a kingdom bound by the lies and deceptions of Apollyon. Only a few
Cover for The House of Envy
know the truth and are dedicated to leading these captives back to the Creator. One such captive is Madam Angeline from the House of Envy. All her life she had been devoted to the Code of Glamour, a way of life that places the self and physical beauty above all else. That is until her sister, Julia casts her out from Hawthorne City, in a power grab.
Angeline is found by a young girl named Ellie and her family, a strange and wondrous group who do not need to be made up like the other people who live within the Dark Mountain. With the guidance of Ellie and her family, Angeline undergoes a remarkable journey home that shows her a world she never knew existed and causes her to confront many truths she never encountered, learns the meaning of love, undergoes a startling transformation, all leading to a final confrontation with her sister. Read the rest of this entry »
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Hey, everybody! Welcome back to “Through a New Wardrobe”, where we sit down and chat with some of today’s hottest writers who have been influenced by CS Lewis and the Land of Narnia. For today’s interview we sit down with author Jennifer K. Johnson and discuss her debut novel The Dark Mountain Chronicles: Book One: The House of Envy and her love for the Narnia books.
NARNIAFANS: Tell us a bit about yourself, for our readers that might not know much about you.
Jennifer Johnson: I live in rural Minnesota with my husband and five daughters. I have a BA in Pastoral Ministry and Biblical Studies. I am a stay-home mother and I homeschool my children. I love use writing as a tool to minister to children and teens.
NF: Wow! You certainly keep busy! How do you find time for writing?
JJ: It seems like God provides opportunities. There’s just different moments where God provides times to work on the book. I also like to try and use it as personal devotion time.
Jennifer K. Johnson
NF:Growing up did you have a favorite Narnia book? Why that one?
JJ: My favorite Narnia book is The Magician’s Nephew. I love how it tells the back story of how Narnia was created and that there are other worlds besides Narnia.
NF: Who was your favorite character?
JJ: I like Reepicheep, especially the scene where Aslan restores his tail. His character is small and some would consider insignificant, but Aslan finds value in him.
NF: In what way would you say that CS Lewis and the Narnia books influenced you as a writer?
While they may not related to the development of the Narnia films, we do like to keep friends of Narnia up to date on any other big roles cast members from Narnia movies undertake. Today, Marvel Studios has officially announced that Ben Barnes, Prince Caspian in Prince Caspian and The Voyage of the Dawn Treader has been cast in the upcoming Marvel/Netflix series The Punisher as a Billy Russo, better known to comic book fans as the villain Jigsaw.
Barnes is actually the third Narnia actor to take on a rolls associated with a Marvel Comics property, with actress Tilda
Swinton portraying the Ancient One opposite Benedict Cumberbatch (note to all fans of both Narnia and The Lord of the Rings, yes, this means that the White Witch and The Necromancer of Dol Guldur will be in the same movie) in Doctor Strange this fall, while James MacAvoy has been portraying the young Professor Charles Xavier in the films X-Men: First Class, X-Men: Days of Future, and X-Men: Apocalypse.
While The Punisher series is part of the same shared Marvel Universe as Captain America,Iron Man, Thor, and The Avengers, like the other Netflix shows such as Daredevil,Jessica Jones, and Luke Cage, the upcoming Punisher series will be considerably more grim and gritty. Parents and younger viewers are strongly cautioned with the Netflix Marvel shows. That being said, I was never a fan of the Punisher until he showed up in Season 2 of Daredevil ( one of my favorite Marvel heroes) and heard his backstory, and am intrigued to see what they do with the character.