Theatre Revived: The Princess and the Goblin

Despite the ever-increasing stories of hope and vaccination, life at John Brown University continues to be disrupted by COVID-19. Pandemic regulations, such as social-distancing, quarantine, and mask-wearing have been well-practiced, but the need for safety has kept many clubs, organizations and extracurriculars from performing at their normal level. At long last, JBU has begun to return to its artistic extracurricular activities in the form of this weekend’s theatrical performance at the Berry Performing Arts Center.

Students finally have another on-campus opportunity to escape the dramas of being at college by watching theatrical drama unfold onstage, an opportunity that has been scarce in the past year. Several students and director Josiah Wallace, associate professor of speech and theatre, have spent the last several weeks rehearsing the first post-pandemic theatrical performance. Wallace has adapted George MacDonald’s book, “The Princess and the Goblin,” into a musical theatre production, according to Jan Lauderdale, instructor of theatre.

Several of the cast were asked about their upcoming “time to shine.” Michael Gabbert, a junior visual FX major, says the play is “a captivating story and a pleasurable auditory and visual experience.”

The cast was asked what their characters would say to promote the show. Abi Wandling, a freshman communication major, said that her character “would be so happy if you all were to come see the show this weekend! Do make time to come, it will be such a delight!” She continued “My favorite part of this show is that it is centered around the Gospel and shows how God loves us and cares for us despite our mistakes and disbelief.”

Tickets are $4.00, and since the campus has not completely returned to its pre-pandemic state, seating is reserved. There will be three performances this weekend, Friday and Saturday nights starting at 7:30p.m., and Saturday afternoon starting at 2:00p.m. The cast and crew include Josiah Wallace, Kate Austin, Jerica Barkley, Mary Dunston, Zack Fincher, Michael Gabbert, Abi Wandling, Trinity Andrus and Laina Ludwig.

The university has been deprived of many social events over the past year. As the campus approaches the light at the end of the COVID tunnel, the cast and crew of “The Princess and the Goblin” are sure to bring their all in the university’s first post-pandemic theatrical extravaganza. With the pandemic’s hold on social life starting to slip, JBU opens its doors to the entire community for a theatrical treat this weekend.

Photo courtesy of JBU Music & Theatre