The Sorcerer's Apprentice
For its holiday play, Seattle Children’s Theatre (SCT) will present the world premiere production of The Sorcerer’s Apprentice, inspired by an ancient Greek fable, Dec. 1 through Jan. 27. This theatrical extravaganza is the creation of a highly-acclaimed artistic team—playwright OyamO, composer Carman Moore, choreographer Donald McKayle and director Linda Hartzell—who, along with a stellar cast and extraordinary sets and costumes, will bring this timeless tale to life on stage.
Steeped with magic realism, and with “N’Orleans-style” swing and jazz music by a four-piece live band, this innovative production follows the trials and tribulations of young Charles. When Charles comes across the queen of an enchanted forest and witnesses her supernatural powers as a healer of the environment, he vows to become her apprentice. However, his arrogance and gullibility all but ruin his chances until he learns his lessons and bravely aids the sorcerer in a battle against her villain.
“This ancient tale uses a fantastical, exciting world of magic realism to show us that there are consequences for our actions,” said Hartzell, who is also SCT’s artistic director. “It reminds us that how we treat others matters, and sometimes you have to be patient, listen to others and pay your dues. With evocative music, this play transports us to a world where being good isn’t always easy, but it is rewarded in the end.”
The Sorcerer’s Apprentice has had many incarnations, including a fable written in 150 C.E. by Greek satirist Lucian of Samosata; a poem written in 1779 by the famous German intellectual Johann Wolfgang von Goethe; an 1897 concert piece by French composer Paul Dukas; and Walt Disney’s 1940 film Fantasia. SCT’s play uses the sorcerer’s apprentice story as a foundation for the action, but incorporates other story elements as well.
SCT is delighted to work with celebrated playwright OyamO and noted composer and conductor Carman Moore, who are cousins. Renowned choreographer Donald McKayle, who danced in the original West Side Story, also adds much to this production. With generous sponsorship from the Bureau of Education & Research, SCT will use live musicians, with music direction and orchestrations by David Duvall. Longtime SCT collaborators Carey Wong, set design; Cathy Hunt, costume design; and Douglas N. Paasch, puppet design, created the remarkable world of the enchanted forest and the characters within.
Young, hungry and on his own, Charles finds himself in a mystical wood with talking plants and animals—the prickly Jeremy Groundhog, Southern belle Miss Orange Tree, the grounded Mr. Juniper Bush and more. Catching a glimpse of Marguerite, the queen of the forest, he is astounded as she makes everyday objects sail through the air, work in the garden and seem to come alive. He has never seen a sorcerer before!
Charles eagerly seeks to become her apprentice, but his arrogance, disrespect and gullibility have him quickly run through the three chances that Marguerite granted him. After the third incident, the sorcerer’s trust in Charles is gone. In his desperation, he turns to Big John King, an evil flimflam artist, to convince Marguerite to take him back.
Now things look bleak for Marguerite, but Charles comes to his mentor’s aid, fending off John’s giant and sinister minions in a spectacular battle. For his loyalty and bravery, Marguerite gives him another chance; he has finally learned to listen to others and is truly ready to be the sorcerer’s apprentice.
The cast for The Sorcerer’s Apprentice includes Anne Allgood as Miss Marguerite, Mo Brady as Mr. Juniper Bush/Demon, Khanh Doan as Miss Grapevine/Demon, Lisa Estridge as Jeremy Groundhog/Demon, Peter A. Jacobs as Mr. Who/Gordagu, Terence Kelley as Baron, Leslie Law as Miss Orange Tree, David Silverman as Big John King and Connor Toms as Charles.
The production features set design by Carey Wong, costume design by Cathy Hunt, lighting design by Andrew Duff, sound design by Chris R. Walker, fight choreography by Geoffrey Alm, puppet design/coaching by Douglas N. Paasch, magic design by Steffan Soule, and dialect coaching by Judith Shahn.
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