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Travel to the magical land of Narnia with Emma Haynes as Lucy, and Tyler Gibson as Mr. Tumnus in 'The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe,' at Princess Theatre this weekend.
Daily photo by John Godbey
Travel to the magical land of Narnia with Emma Haynes as Lucy, and Tyler Gibson as Mr. Tumnus in "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe," at Princess Theatre this weekend.

Finding Narnia
Backstage Theatre presents 'The
Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe'
at Princess

By Patrice Stewart
pstewart@decaturdaily.com · 340-2446

Travel to the magical land of Narnia this weekend along with Lucy and the rest of the characters in "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe."

Braxton Pitts, left, Austin Lenox, Emma Haynes, Catie Duffey and Daniel Martin perform a scene from 'The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.' The Backstage Theatre Co. will perform three shows this weekend at Princess Theatre.
Daily photo by John Godbey
Braxton Pitts, left, Austin Lenox, Emma Haynes, Catie Duffey and Daniel Martin perform a scene from "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe." The Backstage Theatre Co. will perform three shows this weekend at Princess Theatre.
Backstage Theatre Company will give three performances of this version of the classic tale by C.S. Lewis at the Princess Theatre Center for the Performing Arts. Shows will be at 7:30 Friday and Saturday nights and at 2 Sunday afternoon.

More than 50 young people are involved in this show, which is directed by Darren Butler. Caroline Duffey is stage manager.

When Lucy steps through the wardrobe, she finds herself in the magical land of Narnia, Butler said. "There she meets Mr. Tumnus, the fawn, and learns of the evil doings of the White Witch. Lucy drags her siblings, Peter, Susan and Edmund, into Narnia to help Aslan defeat the White Witch. Little does she know that her brother Edmund has been seduced by the White Witch and does her bidding."

Butler said he chose this play for the winter show because it was his favorite story as a child.

"I read them all — many times," he said.

"This was also the story that made me want to be a writer," said the author of historical plays and youth books. "The moment that Lucy stepped through the wardrobe, I thought, 'I want to write stories like that.' "

"Our little Lucy, played by Emma Haynes, will steal your heart," he said, but he thinks his entire cast does a good job.

The script is very much like the book, Butler said. "There are only minor additions of sidekicks to the White Witch: 'Miranda' and 'Angelica,' who play a much more important role than the original dwarf did," he said.

The White Witch's Army is more developed, too.

Butler often directs young people in musical shows, but he couldn't see this Lewis story sung.

"I know people like the musical version, but to me it would be like putting music to 'The Miracle Worker,' " he said.

The show is under two hours with an intermission.

If you go

What: “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe,” a stage version of the C.S. Lewis tale performed by Backstage Theatre Company

When: Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.

Where: Princess Theatre Center for the Performing Arts

Tickets: $12 for adults and $10 for students and seniors, available at the door one hour before each performance or by calling Studio One, 308-2300, from noon to 6:30 Monday through Friday

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