“The Horse and His Boy” stage production based on C.S. Lewis’ bestselling book opens at the Museum of the Bible’s World Stage Theater Friday and promises to appeal to all ages with its timeless message of hope and redemption.
The production, from the Logos Theatre, in association with the C.S. Lewis Company Limited, features life-size puppets, intricate costumes and a script true to the story penned by one of the most beloved authors in history. The production will run from Jan. 20 through March 3, while four American Sign Language shows will take place on Jan. 25-26 and Feb. 15-16.
“Opening week is finally here,” said director Nicole Stratton. “Our cast has been working hard to make C.S. Lewis fans proud, and we are so excited to finally bring these characters to life at the World Stage Theater!”
One of seven novels that comprise The Chronicles of Narnia series, The Horse and His Boy was written by Lewis in 1950. The book takes place while the Pevensies, Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy, served as queens and kings of Narnia. Shasta, a Narnian boy who was stolen from his home and raised as the son of a fisherman in Calormen, seeks to return to Narnia with a talking horse named Bree. Along the way, the duo encounters another talking horse, Hwin, and Aravis, a young noblewoman seeking to escape an arranged marriage.
To write the script and adapt the story for the stage, Stratton, who serves as the artistic director for the Academy of Arts Logos Theatre in Taylor, South Carolina, consulted with Douglas Gresham, Lewis’ stepson, who ultimately put his stamp of approval on the production.
“We're very grateful for the opportunity to do 'Narnia,' to know Douglas Gresham, and to have his stamp of approval on this,” she told The Christian Post. “So, I would safely say, since he approved of it and loved it — he said it was the best Narnia adaptation he had ever seen on the stage. And so that right there was like, well, maybe if he loved it, maybe Lewis himself would.”
Stratton also revealed that Lewis enthusiasts have traveled from around the world to see the stage adaptation of the story — “and they gave us very good reviews.”
Though considered a children’s book, The Horse and His Boy tackles some difficult topics, including suicide ideation and depression, and deep themes like redemption and hope.
Teenage actress Lilliana Groth, who plays Aravis, told CP that Lewis is “unique in the way that he incorporates the real-life troubles for children.”
“And I feel like that's very important to know … you have to realize that there is trouble in the world,” she said.
“So something to take away from the play is, even when you feel like there's no one there, even when you feel like God is not with you, He is there. Something that Aravis goes through a lot is, she feels like she can do it by herself, and she feels like she's courageous and she can do it. And she comes to the end of her rope a lot, where she has to turn to someone, and the only person she can turn to who is powerful enough to face the darkness is Aslan. And that's something that's truly beautiful that C.S. Lewis incorporated into the story, is, the feeling that God is there, and God is the ultimate power throughout the whole story.”
Partnering with the Museum of the Bible to bring “The Horse and His Boy” to the stage is illumiNations Twelve Verse Challenge, a collective alliance of the 11 leading Bible translation agencies that are working together to see that every language has a Bible by the year 2033.
The group is challenging audience members to participate in their 12 Verse Challenge to sponsor a verse of the Bible being translated each month this year.
“We are so excited to be sponsoring ‘The Horse and His Boy’ at the Museum of the Bible,” said Vice President of illumiNations Twelve Verse Challenge Blake Silverstrom. “It’s our mission to bring the Bible to every language and every people and we believe C.S. Lewis’ work is the perfect opportunity to present our challenge. The Narnia books presented the Bible to us metaphorically. Now, audiences will have the opportunity to help present the Bible to people and nations all around the world.”
Tickets to C.S. Lewis’ "The Horse and His Boy" are available now by clicking here or by visiting Museum of the Bible. And for a limited time, audiences can use the code OPENING to save 15% off their ticket purchase.
Leah M. Klett is a reporter for The Christian Post. She can be reached at: email@example.com