The use of understudies in community theater is a debated topic. There are directors who…
The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane is a gorgeous stage adaptation by Dwayne Hartford of Kate DiCamillo’s children’s novel. DiCamillo is the award-winning author of such diverse books as Because of Winn Dixie, The Tale of Despereaux and Flora and Ulysses.
The plot of …Edward Tulane is fairly simple: a china rabbit is separated from his owner, and is found in turn by: a fisherman and his wife, a hobo and his dog, and a poverty-stricken little boy and his dying sister. The premise of the story is a bit harder to articulate. Although the rabbit is not magical in any obvious way–it doesn’t move (even in secret), it doesn’t talk, it doesn’t have any powers of healing–the rabbit is the central character of the book because the author shares with us his thoughts.
In this clever stage version, the rabbit is voiced by an actor who sits on the sidelines and does not interact with the other characters. The actors onstage never look at him. They talk to, hold and become fond of the doll. A few malicious characters are cruel to the doll. But no one hears his thoughts. In spite of this, the audience is drawn into the epic story of his life, and grows fond of him as he changes from a conceited and self-centered creature to an empathetic and loving one.
This quick-moving one-act (the running time is approximately 80 minutes) will be performed “in the round” with the audience sitting on four sides of a rectangular stage. The four other actors portray over two dozen characters between them, including children, old people, and a dog! Here is our cast:
The Storyteller (who also plays a society lady, Martin, Lolly, Jack, Marlene, and the Old Doll): LORRAINE KNOX
Pellegrina (who also plays Margory, the Old Lady, the Watchman, and Lucius Clarke): KIRA DOWNEY
The Woman (who plays Abilene, Nellie, Lucy the dog, Sarah Ruth, Neal, a Doll, and the Shopper): STACEY KUSTER
The Man (who plays Father, Amos, Lawrence, Bull, various hobos, and Bryce):
The Voice of Edward Tulane: MITCH HARPER*
*denotes afO debut