Young ac­tors put fresh spin on The Lit­tle Prince

Youth troupe puts fresh spin on The Lit­tle Prince

Regina Leader-Post - - REGINA LEADER-POST - ASH­LEY MAR­TIN amartin@post­ twit­­leym

This is the fourth time in two decades that Do It With Class Young Peo­ple’s The­atre presents The Lit­tle Prince, but writer and di­rec­tor Rob Ur­san says he has no trou­ble keep­ing the show fresh.

“Ev­ery time a new young per­son comes into th­ese parts, it feels like it’s a brand new ex­pe­ri­ence, not just for them but for the show it­self,” says Ur­san.

“I mean, there have been how many mil­lions of pro­duc­tions of Ok­la­homa! through the years world­wide, and it still gets per­formed. Some sto­ries just click with peo­ple.”

The Lit­tle Prince, which was the fourth show Ur­san ever wrote for DIWC, is based on An­toine de Saint-ex­u­pery’s 1943 chil­dren’s book.

The ap­peal for Ur­san — aside from it be­ing “a beau­ti­ful story” — was the sheer num­ber of char­ac­ters in the tale.

“(That’s) great for our pur­poses, be­cause it then turns into some­thing

where I can use lots and lots of kids,” says Ur­san.

The show will fea­ture “lots and lots of songs, lots of group num­bers,” and an im­pres­sive set by Julio Salazar, as the the­atre com­pany is go­ing all out to cel­e­brate its 25th an­niver­sary.

In the mu­si­cal, which is true to the book, the tit­u­lar “Lit­tle Prince” (played by Javier Toni­taChar­riez) meets a pi­lot (De­clan He­witt) who has crash-landed in the Sa­hara Desert. The prince tells the story of his life, from his home planet to present day, while the pi­lot at­tempts to fix his plane. Through this ex­change, there are re­al­iza­tions about love and hu­man­ity.

“It’s an ex­tra­or­di­nary story of how a child learns about tak­ing care of things and how things be­come im­por­tant to them,” said Ur­san.

While 22 of the show’s cast mem­bers range in age from 10 to 13, He­witt is the lone 17-year-old.

That’s be­cause his part is “an aw­ful lot to mem­o­rize,” said Ur­san — the pi­lot also nar­rates the story.

De­clan He­witt, left, is the pi­lot and Javier Tonita-char­riez plays the Lit­tle Prince in Do It With Class Young Peo­ple’s The­atre’s The Lit­tle Prince, run­ning Nov. 14-17 at the Univer­sity of Regina.

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