July 16th, 2024

‘Little Prince’ ready to make stage debut at U of L


By Alejandra Pulido-Guzman - Lethbridge Herald on February 9, 2023.

Herald photo by Alejandra Pulido-Guzman University of Lethbridge drama students run through a scene of their upcoming play "The Little Prince" at the University Theatre.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDapulido@lethbridgeherald.com

The University of Lethbridge drama department is ready to finally present a stage adaptation of “The Little Prince,” which has been four years in the making.

Director Nicola Elson said she chose “The Little Prince” to be adapted for stage as it is a story that is known around the world, as well as being the second most translated book after the bible.

“In this play we’re using shadow theatre, puppetry, masks, still walking, musicians performing all original music that has been composed by Kathy Zaborsky, who’s somebody I’ve worked with a few times, and she’s also the music director for this,” said Elson.

She said that the play is a collaboration of the different programs in the Fine Arts Department including drama, new media, art and music.

“For this play we have drama students, we have the musicians from the music department, we have a digital audio student who’s doing all the mic work for the show, we have another New Media student coming in to film the piece. It really is this collaborative between all departments, which is pretty exciting as well,” said Elson.

She explained that it has been four years in the making due to delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I started writing it four years ago and then COVID happened, and then we got to a point where we could sort of do theatre but you would be masked onstage, or you couldn’t come close and I just wanted to wait and to be able to do it properly. So now four years later we finally getting to do it,” said Elson.

She said she also chose “The Little Prince” because it was a book she had fallen in love with and because it was a challenge as even though it is a child’s book it is quite sophisticated in some ways.

“I like children’s theatre that challenges the expectations of what children’s theatre should be. There are some parts of it that may be a little bit sad, and the language is really eloquent, sophisticated, it’s not really simple language, but because the imagery is so potent, that helps children to understand some of that language that’s put in there,” said Elson.

She said they are targeting an audience of five-years-old and up.

“The Little Prince” tells the story of a world-weary aviator whose plane crashes, stranding him in the middle of the Sahara Desert. He awakes the next morning to the voice of the Little Prince, “Please, draw me a sheep.” As the Little Prince’s curiosity takes them further on their journey together, the pilot learns of the tiny planet from which the prince has come and of his wondrous travels among the stars.

The Little Prince runs Feb. 10 to 18, with several special matinee showings.

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