‘Little Prince’ Reigning At QC Theater Workshop
“The Little Prince” is being crowned as the latest show from the Quad City Theater Workshop.
One of children’s literature’s most timeless tales will enjoy a world-premiere presentation at the QC Theatre Workshop May 3 through 19, with the Davenport venue housing a brand-new stage adaptation of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s literary classic The Little Prince. Written by the Workshop’s Artistic Director Aaron Randolph III, whose scripts for A Green River and Broken also had their debuts with the company, The Little Prince promises to be a joyous experience for audiences of all ages, as well as a wholly original take Saint-Exupéry’s unforgettable story.
The Little Prince will be presented at the QC Theatre Workshop (1730 Wilkes Avenue, Davenport, IA) May 3 through 19. Performances will be held on Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays at 3 p.m. Doors open a half hour before each performance, and the roughly 70-minute play – one that incorporates comedy, music, dance, and puppetry – is suitable for family audiences.
First published in 1943, Saint-Exupéry’s The Little Prince is the story of a pilot whose plane crashes in the Sahara desert, leaving him desperate to find a way home. During his trek, however, he inexplicably encounters a little boy who claims to be a prince exploring the cosmos and traveling from one world to the next. The pilot consequently comes to realize that there is perhaps much he can learn from this strange little boy, and what follows in The Little Prince resulted in one of world literature’s most beloved and popular works. Since its publication, Saint-Exupéry’s masterpiece has been translated into more than 300 languages and dialects and has sold nearly two million copies annually, and with its current sales of more than 140 copies worldwide, it is one of the best-selling books ever published.
In addition to writing the adult-oriented dramas A Green River and Broken, QC Theatre Workshop Artistic Director Randolph has scripted a number of student-performed comedies for Davenport Junior Theatre, among them stage adaptations of The Emperor’s New Clothes and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. As he also serves as The Little Prince‘s director, portrays the story’s pilot, and is composing original music for the production, Randolph says he’s delighted for the opportunity to now bring Antoine de Saint Exupéry’s classic to family audiences in this new theatrical presentation.
“I’ve loved the book for a very long time,” says Randolph, “and for a long time I’ve thought that it would make a really great children’s show that still has a thoughtful message for adults. And I also thought it would be well-suited to the Workshop because it’s a play where even if you don’t bring children, you’re still going to enjoy it, because it has such a heartfelt and thought-provoking message.”
Randolph’s take on The Little Prince employs an intentionally minimal cast and production staff, with Zach Lawson serving as stage manager, Aaron Hook as lighting and scenic designer, and the show’s three-person cast completed by St. Ambrose University theatre professor Daniel Rairdin-Hale and Workshop veteran Amelia Fischer (Almost, Maine), the latter playing nine different characters. With the Little Prince himself “played” by a puppet manned by Rairdin-Hale, there are also puppet versions of the story’s Snake, Fox, and Flower (all created by Rairdin-Hale and Hook), and Randolph says it’s been both challenging and rewarding to create an original adaptation in this manner.
“Since it’s based on an existing work,” says Randolph, “it’s been less about creating characters and developing a plot and more about finding ways to structure the story to make it more theatrical. So a lot of our work has been, ‘Let’s take this exisiting scene from the book and find four or five ways we can do it on stage, and then pick our favorite version.’”
In the end, says Randolph, “I hope, for adults, it will be an experience that reminds them of childhood and the wonder of being a child. Because for me, that’s what the story is all about: to be able to look at the world the way you did when you were a kid. And for kids, I hope it lets them see a kind of theatre they’ve maybe never been exposed to before – something a bit more abstract, maybe, than what they typically get with children’s theatre, but also very intimate and magical.”
The Little Prince will be presented under the QC Theatre Workshop’s “Pay What It’s Worth” pricing policy in which guests see the play first and then pay afterward, allowing viewers to determine what the experience was worth to them personally. This innovative strategy was designed to create a wholly accessible theatrical experience for patrons regardless of financial means, and the policy’s great success has allowed it to continue for The Little Prince.
For reservations and more information on The Little Prince, please call (563)823-8893 or e-mail QCTheatreWorkshop@gmail.com, and visit QCTheatreWorkshop.org and Facebook.com/QCTheatreWorkshop.
The Little Prince performance schedule
Friday, May 3, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, May 4, 3 p.m.
Saturday, May 4, 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, May 5, 3 p.m.
Friday, May 10, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, May 11, 3 p.m.
Saturday, May 11, 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, May 12, 3 p.m.
Friday, May 17, 7:30 p.m.
Saturday, May 18, 3 p.m.
Saturday, May 18, 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, May 19, 3 p.m.