Guest post by Erin Marie Schwartz.
First, let me begin by saying I never read A Wrinkle in Time so I had no idea what to expect. The popular children’s fantasy book is being staged as this year’s holiday show at the Know Theatre of Cincinnati.
The production, directed by Jason Ballweber from Four Humors Theater in Minneapolis features two Four Humors actors in principal roles as well as Know Theatre’s resident actor MJ Jergensen in the role of Mrs. Who.
The show centers around Meg (Alisa Mattson) and her brother Charles Wallace, played by Darnell Benjamin. These two, who haven’t seen their father in more than two years, set off on a journey to find him and bring him home. Accompanying them on the journey are a colorful group of characters including Mrs. Who, Mrs. Which and Mrs. Whatsit. Also joining them on the journey is neighbor boy Calvin (Chris Wesselman) who says he’s “just along for the ride”.
Some of the most touching interactions occur between Meg and Calvin. Their portrayal of youngsters just beginning to explore the excitement of their first romantic relationship is spot-on.
There is a difficulty in bringing a fantasy/science fiction story to the stage and while Know gets an ‘A’ for effort, the final effect was somewhat less than stellar.
That being said, a creative use of lights, sound and staging are used throughout the play. The floor and walls are painted with an array of stars and a variety of objects are used onstage to produce effective and inventive sounds. When was the last time you saw an overhead projector, let alone one used for sound effects? The minimally decorated stage is the perfect forum for this production.
In conjunction with the performances, Know is promoting a book drive sponsored by Give Back Cincinnati and benefiting the Peaslee Child Development Center. New or gently used books can be dropped off during Know’s regular business hours or before any performance of “Wrinkle.”
A Wrinkle In Time runs December 9-11, 16-19, and 21-23. All performances begin at 8pm with the exception of December 11 which includes a 3pm matinee show in addition to the 8pm performance.
Tickets are $15 the week of the show, $12 if purchased in advance. Tickets may be purchased online or by calling the box office at (513) 300-5669. The Know Theatre is located at 1120 Jackson Street in the arts district of historic Over-the-Rhine.