The Little Prince finds itself on campus
THE BELOVED TALE PERFORMED AT THE KING CENTER
The Little Prince is a beloved French tale about a pilot who’s stranded in the desert after his plane crashes, and he meets a young prince, whom he later befriends. While the pilot tries to fix his plane, the little prince worries about his rose, which he’s left on his planet. Throughout the story, the little prince visits several planets and their inhabitants, learning that humankind is all but the same. He tries to get home on time to prevent his rose from dying.
As soon as the crowd walked into the theater of the CU Denver production, the lights dimmed and a pilot frantically walked around the audience, apologizing for not being able to get into the theater. People were ushered into the space, and the show began.
The plays—an English adaptation and French adaptation—were directed by Sinjin Jones and Dan Heister, respectively.
Jones, a CU Denver alum, is currently a performing arts teacher at Green Valley Ranch High School. He’s directed several plays since graduating in 2011, but is excited to come back to CU Denver. Jones, who is vice President of the Board of “A Theatre Group”—theater company based in Silverton—co-wrote the adaptation of The Little Prince with a former CU Denver professor, Mollie Mook-Fiddler, years ago. It wasn’t until the summer when he reconnected to CU Denver with the help of Associate Professor in the Theatre, Film, and Video Production department, Laura Cuetara.
“I was excited to explore and experiment a more unique way of using the roles, as the theater has never been used in this way before,” Jones said. He worked alongside Cuetara in the past with projects, who ultimately helped him find a home for his project.
Production began in July of this year, and as director, Jones is in charge of overseeing the entire cast and crew of 20, as well as creating a vision and bringing it to life.
“With this production specifically, there’s an additional piece, which is all the logistics of the space and the timing, and the way in which the audience moves,” Jones said.
The stage is quite untraditional in terms of space. With a 40-person capacity, the audience never actually sits but moves along with the actors, making the theater experience interactive and intimate.
Heister, who has been part of the French theater group, “Alliance and CO,” since 1984, has been collaborating with Cuetara for years.
“She thought it would be an interesting project,” Heister said. “It was a fascinating thing to do parallel productions.”
With a completely different cast, Heister brought this novel to life in a different way than Jones did. Though the changes are miniscule, Heister felt it was important to stay true to the story.
“The title is known so well by so many people, it’s studied by almost anybody who learns French,” Heister said. “I’ve got professors and teachers in my cast, [so] we made our own choices, we did some cuts and replacements.”
The play, which was performed at the King Center for an entire week, was sold out.