Book and Lyrics by John Scoullar. Music by Rick Cummins.
From the classic story byAntoine de Saint Exupery
Directed by Kay Deford
Feb 14-24, Weeknights starting at 7:00; Matinee on Saturday and Sunday at 2:30; no performance Wednesday, Feb 20
Tickets: $20; Children 12 and under $15; Box Office: 508-398-8588
At the Gertrude Lawrence Stage at Dennis Union Church, 713 Main Street (Rt 6A), Dennis
Open seating. Online ticket sales at www.EventideArts.orgThe Little Prince or, in French, Le Petit Prince, is one of the best-selling books in history. Written by French aristocrat, writer, poet and aviator Antoine de Saint-Exupery and published in 1943, the children’s book is a story that questions love, life and human nature.
The classic story, now a musical, is Eventide’s Family Theatre production set for school vacation week.
Wil Moser who plays the little prince was familiar with the story before he tried out for the part. The story is a favorite of his father’s who read the story to young Wil frequently. He feels a special tie to the little prince character. “I like how he’s a little kid and I can relate to him,” says Moser. “We were all little once.”
Moser, 13, is in seventh grade at the Barnstable Intermediate School. He’s comfortable in front of people, having had his beginnings in the limelight as a model when he was a child. His first dramatic role was as Wilber the Pig in a school production of Charlotte’s Web and he has even tried out for a Broadway role as recently as last summer. He was delighted when they told him he had an amazing voice and although he didn’t receive a call-back, he says he had a great experience doing it.
Moser loves acting because “it’s fun and it helps me express myself in a lot of ways. Otherwise, I’d feel like I have a lot of emotions bottled up inside of me.”
Having known the story before learning the role of the little prince, Moser found the lines that he is learning to be a little different than what he expected. Of the lines, he says, “they give the play a strong and amazing feel and I love them. It has a great storyline and is a wonderful story all in all.”
The author of the story, Antoine de Saint-Exupery, crashed his airplane in the Sahara desert in 1935. He and his flying partner survived four days without supplies and after nearly dying of thirst, they were saved by a passing Bedouin. Years later when he penned the The Little Prince, de Saint-Exupery featured the aviator in the story who also crashes in the desert. While fixing his plane, the aviator meets the little prince and is transformed by the truths the little man reveals to him. Specifically, he finds his inner child and allows himself to be artistically expressive with the love and support of the little prince. Other characters in the story are thought to represent people in Saint-Expery’s life and his challenges with love, loss and historical issues (the baobabs that continually try to take over the little prince’s home planet, for instance, are symbolic of Nazism).
The Little Prince is a story about a child who lives on a tiny planet with a couple of volcanoes, a weedy bunch of baobab trees and a rose. He loves the rose and cares tenderly for it, but when the rose tells him a lie, he loses trust in her and goes travelling. He visits various asteroids populated with silly adults doing meaningless things and eventually comes to visit the earth. He lands in the middle of the Sahara desert and meets three key characters. One is a snake who claims to be able to send him back to his planet whenever he wants to go, a fox who helps him understand love and responsibility and the aviator who learns, from the little prince, how to be a child again.
In the director’s notes, Kay Deford writes, “We ask the audience to decide whether the little prince is real or imaginary. In either case, we can assume he represents the lost innocence and inner child in all of us.”
Says Moser about the little prince, “He’s just a little kid and he helps the aviator understand what it was to be a child and help him (the aviator) in today’s world to be a kid again.“
As an aid to becoming the character of the little prince and channeling his inner kid, Moser is playing with legos and making stories with them. It’s an activity he did regularly growing up and although he still writes stories, zombies are his current favorite topic.
” I used to have a really vivid imagination as a young kid,” says Moser, “and I feel like it’s going away as I grow up.”
Any adult could vouch for the fact that some of that vivid imagination can slip away with age and responsibility and that’s why Moser believes that the lines of the play coupled with the music is not to be missed.
“I think the music is very beautiful,” says Moser, “and it should bring out the inner child in people who are listening to it. It will make them feel like a kid again.”
Moser is the only youth in the production. Director Kay Deford says that Moser, who has a voice coach, knew his music in the first week of practice. Another plus for Moser is the experience of working with adults.
“I’m meeting new people,” he says. “The director is great, the people are great. I’m making new friends and it’s just a great production.”