2011 and Earlier / News

Narnia in Northport

Fiona Muller, a freshman at Northport Public School, will be transformed tomorrow morning into Polly Plummer — a key character in the school’s production of The Magician’s Nephew.

The play is based on a novel by English author C. S. Lewis, and is the sixth in his Chronicles of Narnia series. Muller said the class chose the story because students are familiar with the Chronicles series, and the story is a prequel.
QUEEN JADIS  (Olivia Kinker) pushes Uncle Andrew (Johnny Petoskey) (above) during rehearsal for the Northport High School production of The Magician’s Nephew being performed this weekend. QUEEN JADIS (Olivia Kinker) pushes Uncle Andrew (Johnny Petoskey) (above) during rehearsal for the Northport High School production of The Magician’s Nephew being performed this weekend.
“It sets up how Narnia came into being, how Queen Jadis came to be in Narnia,” she said.

The story is set in London 1900, when Polly met Digory Kirke and the two preadolescent teens play in a central garden in a row of terrace houses. They explore Kirke’s Uncle Andrew’s home, making their way up to an attic where they mistakenly enter Uncle Andrew’s study. The uncle, a magician of sorts, tricks Polly into touching a magic ring, and she vanishes. He then convinces Kirke to bring her back.

Polly and Digory wind up in a frozen, barren world where they come upon Queen Jadis, who is frozen in stone sitting on a throne. Digory dares Polly to ring a bell sitting on a pedestal in front of what they think is a statue of the queen.

Polly rings the bell, bringing Queen Jadis back to life. She demands to be taken back to their world where she makes plans to take over the world, even though her magic doesn’t work here. Polly and Digory attempt to get rid of her with their magic rings once, but end up taking her, Uncle Andrew, a cabbie and his horse and carriage into the world that becomes Narnia. They meet Aslan, there is a battle, and the stage is set for the Chronicles of Narnia.

“We thought it would be a lot of fun, so we ordered the script for the story on-line. When we got the scripts, we didn’t like them, so we decided to make our own,” Muller said.
Digory Kirke (Elena Mosher) argues with Polly Plummer (Fiona Muller) about ringing a bell that would awaken the statue of Queen Jadis in the background.Digory Kirke (Elena Mosher) argues with Polly Plummer (Fiona Muller) about ringing a bell that would awaken the statue of Queen Jadis in the background.
The play involves 10 main characters, all played by high school students in Donna Wilson’s humanities class, and some middle and elementary school students. “The high school students took about 21/2 weeks to go through the book and develop their own script. We got a paperback version of the book and literally tore it into four sections so the students could piece together a script,” she said.

Muller said putting the script together was a challenge, but it helped that there was a lot of dialogue. “It made it easy to decide which lines to put in the script,” she said.

The class started working on the production in November, after each part was cast. Muller got the role of Polly because: “no one else wanted it,” she said, with a smile. Muller has warmed up to her part as Polly.
“I like how she is the good one. She tries to stop Digory, who is usually the one who gets into mischief, but almost never does.”
AUNT LETTY (Mikela Wilson) scoffs at the demands of Queen Jadis (Olivia Kinker) during rehearsal Monday for Northport High School’s production of The Magician’s Nephew.AUNT LETTY (Mikela Wilson) scoffs at the demands of Queen Jadis (Olivia Kinker) during rehearsal Monday for Northport High School’s production of The Magician’s Nephew.
The 10 main characters are Polly; Digory, played by Elena Mosher; Queen Jadis, played by Olivia Kinker; Aslan, played by Mickey Wanageshik; Aunt Letty, played by Mikela Wilson; Uncle Andrew, played by Johnny Petoskey; the Cabby, played by Jake Kristiansen; and C.S. Lewis, played by Elizabeth Gasco. Austin Miller and Samson Raphael are the play’s technical crew, along with a slew of volunteers from the Northport Community Arts Center.

Wilson said the students and volunteers are working hard. “I told the students there are no set hours they have to put in to help with the play. Everyone has stepped up. I have a couple of students who are putting in three to four hours a night after school. The kids are coming in on the weekend as well, they are really putting in a fantastic effort,” she said.

In one scene, Cabby’s horse is transformed into a winged horse so Digory and Polly can fly to the highest mountain in Narnia and pick magic apples. “Obviously we couldn’t really do a flying horse, but wait until you see Aslan’s mask. Mickey Wanageshik is Aslan and the mask we have made for him, it’s amazing,” Wilson said.

Students have picked up English accents to suit their characters.

Wilson spoke at the Northport Board of Education meeting Monday night. She is hoping that Narnia will lead to bigger and better productions, which is why she sought limited paid-for seating. In the past all school productions have been free admission. While general admission is free, Wilson is hoping to raise funds through reserved seating. “I want people to get used to the idea of paying for a ticket to see a school production. The next play I want to do is expensive and we need to raise money,” Wilson said.

The Northport High School sophomore class will host a spaghetti dinner fundraiser immediately following the Sunday performance. Teacher and class advisor Kate Stevens said the cost is $6 for adults, $4 for Northport students and free for children five years old and younger. Proceeds will help pay for the Class of 2013’s Senior Trip. The dinner will be held in the small gym.

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