An ominous shadow has fallen over our world, and it takes open, inventive and courageous minds to defeat it before it envelopes us all. Young Meg’s father is missing, and it's not quite clear as to why. Her strange neighbours seem to know, and all of sudden she, her curiously gifted little brother, and a friendly boy from school find themselves jumping through time and space to another world, Camazotz, where the shadow has already taken over. It’s up to them to find and save their father and to restore individuality and compassion. Fiercely loved novel for children and adults alike, Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle In Time is a familiar story, which bears a double-edged sword when brought to the stage: your audience will most likely already know and love the tale, but that comes with unavoidable expectations.
This production, told by The New Players from Ridgewood, New Jersey on behalf of the American High School Theatre Festival, does not break new ground, but definitely does not disappoint. At times, you truly get lost in the story, especially with the excellent Prime Coordinator (think Borg queen) scenes and the lovely choral moment. Some of the actors connect more to emotional delivery than others, but, bear in mind, these are novice actors still cutting their teeth; harsh criticism of acting chops is not helpful or relevant.
What is helpful and relevant is to note that, while the actress who plays Meg struggles at times to show vulnerability, she has a natural presence for the stage, communicating frustration and fear in a genuine manner. The highlight of the production, Mrs. Whatsit, Mrs. Who, and Mrs. Which are a delightfully dressed trio, each with specific and distinct character development. Charles Wallace is impressive, especially for a young performer, and the choice to opt for minimalism in recreating Camazotz is right on, leaving more room for individual imagination from the audience.
Adapted for the stage by James Sie, this is a story about faith, bravery, and the power of love. Mrs. Whatsit offers comfort to the audience as well as to Meg when she asks, “Do you think we would have brought you here if there were no hope?
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