Quote of the Day: And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye. Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince. Drama by Rick Cummins and John Scoullar. Directed by Dominique Serrand. On stage at the Guthrie Theater through February 5, 2023.
The Little Prince is a story about imagination and wonder. The Aviator draws a picture of a snake eating an elephant and the silly adults ask him why he drew a picture of a hat. He hears a voice, and a Little Prince appears and asks him about his painting of a Boa constrictor digesting an elephant, then asks him to draw a picture of a sheep. After several attempts, he draws a box with three holes in it. You can look inside it and imagine all sorts of things. The Little Prince sees his sheep – the one who will eat the nasty Baobab trees that threaten to choke out the good plants. He wants to save his precious Rose, but realizes that despite its thorns, the sheep might eat it, too. The Little Prince and the Aviator travel together to other planets, meeting the inhabitants, pondering their meaning and existence, and seeing dozens of sunsets.
The beloved children’s book comes to life on stage at the Guthrie Theater under the masterful direction of Dominique Serrand and brilliant team of actors and theater creators. Steven Epp plays the Aviator with childlike wonder and curiosity. He is at first surprised by the appearance of the Little Prince, played by Reed Northrup with other-worldly flair. Catherine plays his beloved Rose, as well as the Businessman who is practically swallowed up by his suit. Wariboko Semenitari plays the Conceited Man, Lamplighter, and puppeteer. Nathan Keepers is phenomenal as the King, Snake, and Fox. They all brought out the magic of live theater with so many surprises from their characters, costumes, props and set. We left the theater marveling at all the amazing effects.
Costume and puppet designs by Olivera Gajic were absolutely stunning. I loved how the Little Prince’s tunic was so light, emphasizing his ephemeral presence. When he moved, the tunic seemed to float with him. All of the characters from the snake to the flower were vibrant with color and detail. Lighting design by Yi Zhao was especially effective at the end when the Aviator holds up his single light and remembers the Little Prince who accompanied him on such a marvelous adventure. Scenic design by Rachel Hauck gives you the feeling of being in your grandparents’ attic, old radios and chests, and other treasures. The set moved around, or housed hidden objects or trap doors with mystical creatures. The whole experience makes you feel like playing!
Watching this story unfold is like revisiting childhood. You’re allowed to open your mind to possibilities, to imagine worlds where only one person lives and planets so small that you can turn around and see another sunset. You believe that a friend is waiting behind the next sand dune, and the beauty of a sunset is made even more special when you have someone to watch it with you. When the journey is over, the Little Prince tells his new friend, the Aviator, that he has to go. “Don’t think of it as death,” he says. “I’m going to the next place, but I can’t take this body with me. It’s too heavy.” The Aviator holds out his light and looks at the stars and knows that his friend is always with him, he only needs to remember and imagine them together in another world.
You can experience this fantastical story at the Guthrie Theater through February 5, 2023. It is truly a work of art.
Go. Create. Inspire!
Journaling Prompt: If your imaginary friend appeared today, where would you go for an adventure together?