The Neverending Story
In a land devoured by The Nothing, only one boy can save everything. All he must do is believe in Fantastica, believe in imagination, and believe in himself. The Neverending Story was originally written as a children’s book and published in Germany in 1979. The story was later made into a well-known hit movie of the same title in 1984 with several subsequent sequels. Now this wonderful tale of fantasy and imagination comes to life on SCT’s own Charlotte Martin stage in this world premiere production. Ann and Nancy Wilson of the rock band Heart contribute two new, original songs to SCT’s production.
“Winter is a time of wonder, belief, and fantasy; a time when we all try to share a little more of ourselves with each other,” says SCT Artistic Director Linda Hartzell. “And what better gift than a spectacular adventure through incredible places, peopled by astonishing creatures? Here we learn that everyone can be the hero of the story.”
SCT collaborated with Ann and Nancy Wilson of the rock band Heart to develop original music for The Neverending Story, including the song “Don’t You Fall.”
The play opens with young Bastian, a bookish boy tormented by school bullies. But when an old bookseller gives Bastian a most amazing book, he finds refuge in the story on the pages. And that story begins with Fantastica in grave danger. The Nothing engulfs everything in its path, and The Childlike Empress sends the unlikely hero Atreyu, a boy of Bastian’s age, on a quest to find the one who can save them all. Atreyu’s adventure takes him to the far corners of Fantastica, through the Swamp of Sadness, the cave of a giant spider, and the maze of the Southern Oracle, aided by the happy Luck Dragon, Falkor. But it is with Bastian’s belief in the story that Fantastica has found its true savior. Imagination will live on, and the story begins again…
The SCT production incorporates fantastic sets and inventive puppetry to bring the world of Fantastica to life. Puppet master Douglas Paasch, who also designed the puppets for SCT’s current run of The Big Friendly Giant, was tasked with fleshing out Fantastica’s tiniest and giant-est inhabitants, and set designer Carey Wong, whose work recently graced SCT stages in The Sorceror’s Apprentice and Sleeping Beauty, with rendering Fantastica’s wondrous landscapes.
The Neverending Story also brings together a particularly veteran cast, with all but one castmember previously appearing at SCT and three, Hans Altweis, Sarah Harlett amd Tomithy Hyland, appearing in seven or more each. The cast also includes Gabriel Baron, Emily Chisholm, Lisa Estridge, Brad Farwell, Chad Jennings and Michael Place, with David Goldstein, Betsy Schwartz and Matt Wolfe understudying.
The Neverending Story was written by Michael Ende, adapted for the stage by David S. Craig and directed by David Bennett.
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