Bluefield Youth Theatre at Bluefield College will present a stage adaptation of Diana Wynne Jones’ popular fantasy novel Howl’s Moving Castle, Thursday through Sunday, March 15-18.
Featuring a host of local youth, the performances will begin at 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, March 15-17, and at 3 p.m. on Sunday, March 18 in BC’s Harman Chapel Auditorium. Admission for each performance will be $10 for adults and $5 for students and senior citizens. Members of the BC family will be admitted for free.
Howl’s Moving Castle tells the story of Sophie Hatter. In the land of Ingary, Sophie catches the unwelcome attention of the Witch of the Waste and is put under a spell. Deciding she has nothing to lose, she escapes to the moving castle that belongs to the dreaded Wizard Howl, whose appetite is satisfied only by the souls of young girls. There, she meets Michael, Howl’s apprentice, and Calcifer the Fire Demon.
“Sophie isn’t the only one under a curse,” said BC Theatre’s Charles Reese, associate professor and co-chair of the Theatre Department. “Her entanglements with Calcifer, Howl and Michael, and her quest to break her curse are both gripping and howlingly funny.”
In the Bluefield Youth Theatre (BYT) production of Howl’s Moving Castle, Sophie is played by BC theatre student Mary Jones, who also adapted the script from the novel. The Wizard Howl is played by Princeton High School senior Noah Jennings, a long-time veteran of Bluefield Youth Theatre. Michael, Howl’s apprentice, is portrayed by Graham High School sophomore Brian Fisher, who recently starred in BYT’s Elf the Musical and Shrek the Musical, and Calcifer the Fire Demon is played by Graham Middle School student Zachary Bowman.
Other local youths making up the cast include Abby Bradley, Breanna Buterakos, Melissa Denson, Emma Donchetz, Claire Fisher, Emily Fleig, Isaac Hodge, Sarah Jacobs, Grace Maranto, Connor Miller, Emma Miller, Megan Moore, Carleek Owens, Payton Rice, Haley Ritchie, Carrington Shelton, Aiden Stout, Ethan Stout, Kimberly Turner, and Rachel White.
Bluefield Youth Theatre at Bluefield College began in the fall of 2007 when dozens of local youth responded to a call for auditions for the production of Treasure Island, a performance that would become one of BC Theatre’s largest and most popular ever. From that event, the vision was born to create a theatre company designed specifically for training and performance experience for the youth and children of the two Virginias.
In December of 2007, the concept came to fruition with The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, the pilot production of Bluefield Youth Theatre. Today, more than 100 local youth have performed in Bluefield Youth Theatre for audiences of more than 20,000. Howl’s Moving Castle will be the group’s 24th production, following two repeat performances of The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer; The Adventures of Robin Hood; Oliver Twist; Charlotte’s Web; Arthur at Merlin’s King’s Academy; A Christmas Carol; Jungle Book; Aladdin; Peter Pan; Narnia: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe; Mulan; The Year of the Perfect Christmas Tree; The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian; The Little Mermaid, Jr.; [email protected]; Beauty and the Beast, Jr.; Annie, Jr.; The Hiding Place; Shrek the Musical; and Elf the Musical.
For more information, contact the Bluefield College Theatre Department by phone at 276-326-4244 or 276-326-4213 or by email [email protected].