“The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane,” a Theatre for Youth show performed Sept. 27-30 in Harrison Theatre, follows the story of a china rabbit named Edward Tulane. The play tells of his journey meeting lots of different people, some who love and or reject him. Movement is central to the show in both the script, the set, the choreography and the themes Edward learns about love and loss.
When asked about the show’s wide range of themes, actor John Perine said he enjoyed that “the show isn’t scared to present subject matter that children face in everyday life.”
Actor Hannah Rice likes that this show “teaches kids about love and loss and real world lessons.”
Actor Anna Medley said she that the show “doesn’t sugarcoat anything.”
Movement began onstage before the show with interactions, dancing, and changing of props among characters. Movement continued with transitions that flowed seamlessly between scenes and into new characters. Emily Wilson came up with the choreography, as well as the breath each actor took inhaling into a character and exhaling out of a character. This script calls for four actors who play multiple parts, but the cast expanded to seven which made this production unique with the rearranging of parts that actors got to play.
“It was challenging to play multiple roles,” Perine said. But he said he enjoyed playing “both the character who broke and put together Edward Tulane.”
Medley said that her favorite part was working together with the cast who supports each other. While actors transitioned into new roles, the rest of the ensemble transitioned into supporting characters or became part of the setting with choreography.
The choreography in the show portrayed settings of fantasy, depth that correlated with loss, and heights that correlated with love. During the fairytale story, characters told the story dramatically through motion while one character narrated. Other powerful uses of motion included when Edward sunk to the depths of the sea where the choreography from the back of the stage echoed movement in the sea and he also rose into the sky surrounded by actors spinning capes shining with lights like the starry sky.
Nicholas DiPrima said something he loves about performing for children is hearing the lines they pick up as funny and they are engaged and had questions about the props after performances. While a prop was used for Edward Tulane, Drew Fillinger supplied Edward’s voice.
Before the public performances on Samford’s campus, there were six invitation—only performances, including to a deaf school and the “First Night” Thursday night performance, which included craft-making activities beforehand for children.
Emily Thorington, Features Writer