Fairfax: Good Battles Evil in Magical World

Fairfax: Good Battles Evil in Magical World

CFTC presents ‘The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.’

Rehearsing a scene with the White Witch (Porsha Poteet) are (from left) Aaron Eckloff, Sarah Gambaccini, Erik Peyton and Nicole Buro.

Rehearsing a scene with the White Witch (Porsha Poteet) are (from left) Aaron Eckloff, Sarah Gambaccini, Erik Peyton and Nicole Buro. Photo by Bonnie Hobbs.

— It’s WWII in England when four siblings make their way to a world called Narnia through a magic wardrobe. There, they have all kinds of adventures, including defeating the White Witch, the self-proclaimed ruler of Narnia.

That’s the premise of the City of Fairfax Theatre Co.’s upcoming production, “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.” It’ll be presented Dec. 1-4 at Truro Anglican Church, 10520 Main St. in Fairfax.

It features a cast and crew of about 40, mostly children, but will appeal to all ages. And Director Kirsten Boyd says it’s going to be extraordinary.

“This show’s been both challenging and fun because the actors are playing characters from another world,” she explained. “For example, some are half-human and half-creature, so the costumes and makeup have to reflect that. We even have a lady who created special masks for the actors. The four children are the only humans in Narnia.”

But Boyd said the cast members have embraced the opportunity to play a variety of unusual characters. Plus, she added, “We have a huge, stage-combat scene which they had to learn to do safely and effectively. The audience will enjoy this show because it brings the joy of the Christmas spirit of good conquering evil. And there’s even an appearance by Father Christmas.”

FAIRFAX CITY RESIDENT Porsha Poteet portrays the White Witch. “She wants to call herself a queen, but she’s really a witch,” said Poteet. “She’s cold, hard and ruthless, and she always makes it winter and never Christmas. Meanwhile, Aslan the Lion is trying to take back his rightful place as Narnia’s ruler from her icy clutches.”

Poteet likes her role because, in her last Christmas show, she played a sweet mom. “I also like interacting with all the different ages of the cast,” she said. “I love the story, so getting into the mind of the White Witch and portraying that is both challenging and intriguing.”

Calling this play “a really neat story for Christmas time,” she said, “The costumes and makeup are fantastic. And people will love seeing the good, mythical creatures and the bad, mythical creatures interact.”

Playing one of the children, Lucy, is Sarah Gambaccini, 8-1/2. “Lucy’s friendly and cheerful, always happy and positive and loves everybody,” she said. “She’s fun to play because she’s always active. She’s also challenging because sometimes she says things that make no sense.” And, said Sarah, the audience will enjoy seeing a live show that’s “not in a movie or a book, but right in front of them.”

Robinson Secondary eighth-grader Aaron Eckloff portrays her brother, Peter. “He’s the oldest sibling, so he feels responsible for the others,” said Aaron. “And he’s always on his brother, Edmund, because he’s usually causing all the trouble. Peter’s mostly serious and stern and keeps everyone in line; he doesn’t want anyone to get hurt. He has a big personality and is always ready to fight for what he believes in and to protect his family.”

Aaron’s enjoying his part because “Peter gets a sword and has a pretty cool, one-on-one fight scene with a wolf – the captain of the witch’s secret police.” He said people will like “how dynamic the whole show is. It’s not all onstage; the action is also happening in the audience and in the aisles.”

Fairfax resident Nicole Buro, 13, plays his sister, Susan. “She’s very studious and likes rules and regulations,” said Nicole. “She’s strict and stern and likes to take control of everybody. But she’s also cautious and can get overprotective at times and act like the grownup.”

HER ROLE is interesting, said Nicole, because “Susan is the exact opposite of me; I love adventure. It’s also fun because of the other cast members.” She said the show is good for the whole family, plus “It has a lot of action and is a really fun story.”

Portraying her brother, Edmund, is 12-year-old Erik Peyton. “Edmund is the annoying, little brother,” said Erik. “He never follows directions or listens to anyone, so he gets into trouble a lot. In real life, my older brother is the troublemaker in the family, not me, so I like getting to do that in the show. Edmund’s story is about pain and redemption – which is new to me to play – so that’s exciting.”

Overall, said Erik, “The audience will like how each of the characters has their own storyline, and they all connect into one, big story. And the outcome is amazing.”