The Little Prince has been adapted for the stage by Roderick Glanville. Thank you to Roderick for answering our questions about our upcoming summer KidzPlay. To get tickets for you and your favourite child click here!
Question: Our young audiences are looking forward to this show! Can you tell us a little bit about this show and what makes it unique?
Answer: This story is magical as it works on two levels. For the most part, The Little Prince characterizes narrow-mindedness as a trait of adults. In the very first chapter, the narrator draws a sharp contrast between the respective ways grown-ups and children view the world. He depicts grown-ups as unimaginative, dull, superficial, and stubbornly sure that their limited perspective is the only one possible. He depicts children, on the other hand, as imaginative, open-minded, and aware of and sensitive to the mystery and beauty of the world. The Fox is one of my favourites as the teaching are very faith based but not specifically Christian, more pure inclusive spirituality.
Question: Why are you drawn towards developing children’s theatre?
Answer: As a young person creative self-expression was critical to my fitting in. I found community in theatre. A place where I was accepted and not judged. And later I was quite moved by a touring companies production of Bertolt Brecht’s ‘The exception and the rule’, from that point on I knew I wanted to be a professional actor. I approach my work through the lens of a child, because I haven’t really grown up! Engaging youth and their imagination is pure joy, and a young audience is the most honest audience. Every set of eyes and ears are open to story. Creating stories that resonate with their lives keeps me present in my own life. This is why The Little Prince speaks so strongly to my spirit.
Question: Your version of The Little Prince has been produced for Kaleidoscope Theatre. How did audiences respond to this show, have you made any changes to bring it to the stage at Chemainus Theatre?
Answer: This will be my third production of the story. The first was a table top puppet version for our Family Theatre Festival in our giant inflatable Igloo theatre. The second production was a bi-lingual version presented at the McPherson Playhouse and featured live music composed by Oliver Swain. Quite a contrast to the first one! Everyone loves the Prince. How could you not? The important part for me is the acting of the Prince. It must be a female. The child’s spirit is pure, and I find women far more empathetic. This does not exclude men. But children respond differently to a female voice. It is more soothing and safe. And the Prince is seeking emotional understanding. Both shows were amazing. The bi-lingual version was an experiment that really worked for both English and French and opened up new audiences for Kaleidoscope. The show we are bringing to Chemainus will be the English version with Oliver returning to bring his magic to the show. The scale of production will be similar to the McPherson staging. I will have to edit some of the sections as the running time is too long for the traditional Chemainus programming, but nothing will be lost. The story will remain intact.
Question: What about the story of The Little Prince resonates with both adults and children?
The need to question the importance of our place in the universe and how important loyalty and love are to our survival. Timeless themes and fun characters. Plus, everyone loves a puppet that can fly!
Question: Do you have any words of wisdom for young people hoping to make their careers in the theatre, either on stage or behind the scenes?
Answer: Follow your dreams. Break through barriers and be kind to oneself and others along the path. Never give up. If it makes you happy, you cannot turn away. The art’s will heal and enlighten. Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Critical thinking is so important and we can all contribute to our community through self-expression in many forms. So, just do it!