A Wrinkle in Time

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"Lebano's staging is undeniably imaginative and beautifully paced....a superb technical team contribute appropriately celestial effect that will appeal to all ages."

LATimes, F. Kathleen Foley

"Imaginative direction, striking designs and vivid performances bring the thrilling journey of A Wrinkle in Time to life onstage at SMP."

Star-News, Dany Margolies

"...a superb show...the effects, the staging, the sound and the lighting were all truly amazing."

LA Post-Examiner, Ron Irwin

"...see A Wrinkle in Time" ....It will take you completely away from the day-to-day to send you on a wish-it-could-be-true fantastical adventure."

Fume of Sighs, Dena Burroughs
A Wrinkle in Time:

One dark and stormy night, the eccentric Mrs. Whatsit arrives at the home of Meg Murry, a young teen who doesn't fit in at her New England high school.

Aided by Mrs. Whatsit and her friends, Meg, her gifted brother Charles Wallace, and her friend Calvin are transported on an adventure through time and space to rescue her father from the evil forces that hold him prisoner on another planet. John Glore's delightful, wildly theatrical adaptation bring the beloved Newbery-winning novel to life.

 

Photo Credit: Gina Long

A Note From The Director:

“Believing takes practice.”

Although this quote from the book A Wrinkle in Time does not get said in our production, I have used it as my inspiration for our show. I didn’t read this book as a kid - I came to it only as an adult when I was thinking of plays for the Field Trip Series - but I wish I had though. This is exactly the kind of book I would have loved: science fiction (I was a huge Robert Heinlein fan) about disconnected and disoriented kids.

And Meg is just the kind of kid who should go on this journey – a true “Hero’s Journey” if there ever was one. An awkward, lonely and dispirited adolescent girl who learns two invaluable things that all of us needed to learn when we were young and impressionable: that we are loved and that we are perfect just as we are. Believing takes practice…believing in yourself and more importantly believing in others – your parents, your friends, your siblings – just at the moment when you are questioning everything.

When I started the Field Trip Series in 2014 I hoped that it would grow into a yearly offering that would speak to school kids and their teachers, supporting curricula and inspiring a love for theater in our young patrons. But even more, I hoped that the stories would be ones that would inspire and challenge and enthrall – and they have! - the Civil War drummer boys of Battledrum, the young scientist on the brink of everything in Einstein is a Dummy, the sterling friends in Charlotte’s Web, and now Meg in A Wrinkle in Time. I’m so happy that this play features a girl on the brink of womanhood learning to negotiate the world and her own transformation. I cannot imagine a more fitting story to share with young people who themselves are on the brink of adulthood.

I am so grateful to all the artists who helped me realize this show: the actors, who were always up for any wild suggestion, and the designers, who were as delighted to tell this story as I was and who came up with so many great ways for us to realize the vision of this show. It was truly a collaborative and incredibly fun journey. My thanks, too, to the SMP staff and Board who work so hard to bring our wonderful and award-winning productions to you. And finally, because I can’t thank them often enough, thanks to Doug and Gideon, without whose support, love, and indulgence of my crazy schedule I wouldn’t be able to do this at all. “Believing takes practice” and I’m still practicing!

Christian Lebano



 
 

Photo Credit: Gina Long
 

Madeleine L'Engle (1918-2007):

was the author of more than forty-five books for all ages, among them the beloved A Wrinkle in Time, awarded the Newbery Medal; A Ring of Endless Light, a Newbery Honor Book; A Swiftly Tilting Planet, winner of the American Book Award. L'Engle was named the 1998 recipient of the Margaret A. Edwards award, honoring her lifetime contribution in writing for teens. In 2004 she received the National Humanities Medal but could not attend the ceremony due to poor health.

The Time quintet--A Wrinkle in Time, A Wind in the Door, A Swiftly Tilting Planet, Many Waters, and An Acceptable Time--are among her most famous books, but it took years to get a publisher to accept A Wrinkle in Time. "Every major publisher turned it down. No one knew what to do with it," she said. When Farrar, Straus & Giroux finally accepted the manuscript, she insisted that they publish it as a children's book. It was the beginning of their children's list.

After splitting her time between New York City and Connecticut and acting as the librarian and writer-in-residence at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, Madeleine L’Engle died on September 7, 2007 at the age of 88. “I think that fantasy must possess the author and simply use him,” she once said. “I know that is true of A Wrinkle in Time. I cannot possibly tell you how I came to write it. It was simply a book I had to write. I had no choice. It was only after it was written that I realized what some of it meant.”

 

John Glore (Adaptor):

is the Associate Artistic Director of South Coast Repertory (SCR), in Orange County, Calif. He is an award-winning playwright whose work for young audiences includes Wind of a Thousand Tales, Folktales Too, Rhubarb Jam, The Day After Evermore and adaptations of The Stinky Cheese Man and Other Fairly Stupid Tales, by Jon Scieszka and Lane Smith, The Night Fairy, by Laura Amy Schlitz and Flora & Ulysses, by Kate DiCamillo. His adaptation of Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time debuted at SCR in 2010 and has since moved on to more than a dozen productions nationwide. With the performance trio Culture Clash he has co-authored adaptations of two plays by Aristophanes, The Birds and Peace. His work has been produced at South Coast Repertory, Arena Stage, Berkeley Rep, Actors Theatre of Louisville, The Children’s Theatre Company, the Coterie, the Getty Villa and elsewhere. He received a 2000 Playwrights Fellowship from the California Arts Council and has occasionally taught playwriting and related subjects at UCLA and Pomona College.

 
 

Photo Credit: Gina Long

The Space Cast (in order of appearance):

Cate Jo
(Meg):

is thrilled to make her debut with Sierra Madre Playhouse in her first stage performance as a new LA transplant. A Korean-born actress raised in Birmingham, AL, Cate attended Vanderbilt University, where she earned her Theatre major with minors in Mathematics and Classics. Her love of theatre has extended backstage with various crew positions, from scenic designer to assistant master electrician, and she has also acted in a number of short films and TV shows. Favorite past roles include Harriet in Emma (Springhouse Theatre Company), Bianca in The Taming (Tennessee Women's Theater Project), and Lady Nijo/Nell in Top Girls (Vanderbilt University Theatre). Cate would like to thank SMP and her family for this wonderful opportunity!

Lena Thomas
(Mrs. Whatsit/Camo Mother):

is from the swamplands of Georgia where she developed a paralyzing fear of alligators. She studied theatre at Columbus State University, is a proud member of the National Theatre Honor Society (Alpha Psi Omega), and worked at the State Theatre of Georgia for a number of years. Since moving to the West Coast Lena has expanded her career to film, television, and digital media, and has also continued her studies of Meisner at Playhouse West and Improv Comedy at iO West. A Wrinkle in Time was Lena's favorite book when she was exactly 11 years old and sparked a life-long love of science fiction. She hopes to be a part of that spark for today's young people.

Clayton McInerney
(Father/Man with Red Eyes):

This is Clayton's first show at SMP. He was most recently seen in the world premiere of War Stories at the Hollywood Fringe Festival and in Picasso at the Lapin Agile (Conejo Players Theatre) where he was named Best Actor by the Four Star Theatre Alliance and nominated Best Lead Actor by Broadway World. Past Credits include Richard III (Southwest Shakespeare), The Diary of Anne Frank, Taming of the Shrew, As You Like It (Arizona Repertory Theater). Clayton has studied with the Moscow Art Theatre, currently studies with the Antaeus Theatre Company, and holds a BFA from the University of Arizona. claytonmcinerney.com

Kristyn Chalker
(Mother/Mrs. Who/Camo Woman/Aunt Beast and u/s Mrs. Whatsit/Camo Mother):

is thrilled to be working with Sierra Madre Playhouse for the first time. Originally from Houston, Texas, she received her BFA in Acting from Oklahoma City University prior to moving to Los Angeles 5 years ago. She is an Associate Company Member at Sacred Fools, where she was most recently seen in Skullduggery: A Musical Prequel to Hamlet as both Gertrude and Ophelia's understudies. Other recent roles include: Nina in The Seagull, Stella in A Streetcar Named Desire, and Viola in Twelfth Night.

Mike Rose
(Calvin):

graduated from Loyola Marymount University in May. In 2014 he returned home to New York to attend the American Theatre Wing’s SpringboardNYC Musical Theatre program. This past February he was a finalist in musical theatre at the American College Theatre Festival in Honolulu. College credits include: The Cripple of Inishmaan, Spring Awakening, Ridiculous Fraud (workshop with Beth Henley), The One Night Stanzas a cappella group, the LMU Choruses tour of France, and the Sinatra Opera Workshop. Recent LA projects include the Foundation of New American Musical’s FutureFest at the Rockwell Stage, Save the Pier on the Santa Monica Pier, and Kurt Weill at the Cuttlefish Hotel. Follow him @MikeRoseLA!

Boone Grigsby
(Charles Wallace):

is very excited to be in this production of A Wrinkle in Time! This is his first professional show outside of school. He graduated with a BFA in Musical Theatre from the American Musical and Dramatic Academy. Family is everything to Boone so he thanks his family and friends for being there for him wherever he goes. Other characters he has played have included Sebastian in The Little Mermaid, Bad Idea Bear in Avenue Q and most recently Dr. Billeaux in Urinetown. Boone hopes you love the show as much as he has loved it. Let’s wrinkle the fabric and watch the magic of the stage unfold in front of your eyes!

Photo Credit: Gina Long

The Time Cast (in order of appearance):

Cristina Gerla
(Meg):

Theater credits include: 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Sierra Madre Playhouse, Ovation Nomination); Failure: A Love Story (Coeurage Theatre Co, Ovation Nomination); Kingdom City (La Jolla Playhouse); Red Barn (Independent Shakespeare Co); The Grapes of Wrath (A Noise Within); Ionescopade (Odyssey Theatre); The Future Perfect (Pasadena Playhouse); Peppa Pig Live! (1st US Nat’l Tour). Other Theaters and workshop productions: LA Phil, Odyssey Theater, PCPA Theaterfest. Training: B.A. from UCLA’s Ray Bolger Musical Theatre Program; Royal Academy of Dramatic Art Summer Conservatory. Thanks to family, Mary Jo, and Anthony @ Stage9/DDO.

Lena Thomas
(Mrs. Whatsit/Camo Mother):

is from the swamplands of Georgia where she developed a paralyzing fear of alligators. She studied theatre at Columbus State University, is a proud member of the National Theatre Honor Society (Alpha Psi Omega), and worked at the State Theatre of Georgia for a number of years. Since moving to the West Coast Lena has expanded her career to film, television, and digital media, and has also continued her studies of Meisner at Playhouse West and Improv Comedy at iO West. A Wrinkle in Time was Lena's favorite book when she was exactly 11 years old and sparked a life-long love of science fiction. She hopes to be a part of that spark for today's young people.

Tony Kim
(Father/Man with Red Eyes):

is a big fan of A Wrinkle in Time and very excited to be a part of the stage version of this story. A SoCal native where he spent the majority of his formative years, he joined the Navy out of high school, in a prestigious program, which earned him an engineering degree. Having a successful career in civilian life, he found his love and passion for storytelling, and has given everything to do that since. Most recently he had a premiere for Sleepless at the WarnerBros Studios with international distribution lined up. May you have a happy and hopeful 2017.

Mallory Marie Wedding
(Mother/Mrs. Who/Camo Woman/Aunt Beast):

is a classically trained actor who was recently awarded “Best Actress” for her film performance in Anamnesis. Previous theatres include the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Black Swan Lab and City Shakespeare Company. Her favorite roles on stage have been Clov in Endgame, Goneril in King Lear, Madame Arcati in Blithe Spirit and the Loud Stone in Eurydice. This is her first production with the Sierra Madre Playhouse and is very excited to share her work with young audiences. She thanks her parents for their profound love and support.

Ben Horwitz
(Calvin):

is a Philadelphia native who migrated to Los Angeles nearly three years ago. He is extremely thrilled to be working on his first show at the Sierra Madre Playhouse! Los Angeles theater credits include Picnic at Antaeus Theatre Company directed by Cameron Watson and Dry Land at Echo Theater Company directed by Alana Dietze. He will be reprising his role as 'Victor' in Dry Land at Center Theatre Group's BLOCK PARTY later this Spring. He thanks his family, friends, and girlfriend for their support.

Ken Ivy
(Charles Wallace):

It was in the suburbs of Wisconsin, where Ken trained as a gymnast for nine years, where he found his passion for acting. He moved to Los Angeles to attend the New York Film Academy. Shortly after, he landed roles in film and television. Ken is the middle child of five and enjoys reading, traveling, and movies.

Photo Credit: Gina Long

The Production Team:

Textbox Section
 

Christian Lebano (Director):

directed The Glass Menagerie (Ovation Recommended and Nominated), Deathtrap (Ovation Winner Best Set), 4000 Miles, Battledrum, Driving Miss Daisy (Ovation Recommended), and Woman in Mind (LA Times Critic’s Choice) at SMP. He played Sean in Bee-luther-hatchee, Atticus in To Kill a Mockingbird (BroadwayWorld.com Best Actor Nom.), Jerry in God’s Man in Texas, and Stage Manager in Our Town. He was in the long-running Opus at The Fountain Theater (Ovation nom’s Best Play and Best Ensemble, LADCC Best Ensemble winner and nom Best Play, LA Weekly nom Best Actor.) He has worked at regional theaters across the country as both an actor and director. Christian is the Artistic Director of the Playhouse and a Board member.

 

Mara Aguilar
AWiT Assistant Stage Manager):

previously worked with Center Stage Opera as Stage Manager for Romeo et Juliette. Other credits include Love Letters with Katherine Ross and Sam Elliot at the Malibu Playhouse. She has also worked with the Musical Theater Guild on shows like Bonnie and Clyde, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes and Do I Hear a Waltz among other shows. Mara is excited to be working on A Wrinkle in Time.

Vicki Conrad
(Rep Costume Designer):

received the 2015 Ovation Award for Best Costume Design for The Mystery of Edwin Drood (Actors Co-op). Recent credits: Next to Normal, Our Town, The Imaginary Invalid, Asterion, Summer and Smoke, 110 In the Shade (Ovation Award – Best Production of a Musical), The Learned Ladies (LA Weekly Award Best Costume Design, Ovation Nomination) and Big River (Ovation nomination.) At SMP: Einstein is a Dummy and Deathtrap. Look for her designs in Season 15’s Project Runway commercial! Thanks to the SMP and BLH team. www.vickiconraddesign.com

Orlando de la Paz
(Rep Scenic Painter):

this is Orlando's tenth production at SMP: Bee-luther-hatchee, The Glass Menagerie, A Christmas Memory, Always...Patsy Cline, The Odd Couple, A Little House Christmas (both times), A Walk in the Woods, and the Einstein/Putting it Together rep. Other credits include many shows at: A Noise Within, The Colony, Antaeus, La Mirada Theater, Boston Court, The Los Angeles Theater, The Falcon Theater, and ICT in Long Beach. Education: Otis College of Art and Design, Don Bosco College Seminary, Don Bosco Technical Institute.

Rebecca Hairston
(Rep Lighting Designer):

is excited to be working with Christian Lebano again on A Wrinkle in Time and with Todd Nielsen for the first time on The Belle of Amherst. She is delighted to be working with such a collaborative and imaginative team. Some of her favorite experiences are working with Martha Graham Dance Company, Isabella Rossellini on "Green Porno Live On Stage", J.J. Hairston, Hezekiah Walker, Kirk Franklin, touring the country with Marc Bamuthi Joseph on his shows "The Break/s: A Mix-Tape for Stage" and "red, black and Green: a blues".

Matthew G. Hill
(Rep Set & Projection Designer):

is an award-winning, multi-media, multi-disciplinary storyteller. From stage to screen to the printed page, Matt believes in the power of stories and hopes to use them to inspire. Matt has served as an artist-in-residence at the National Theatre of Croatia, the Getty Villa, and the Annenberg Beach House. He is currently the associate artistic director of the Rogue Artists Ensemble and teaches design at the University of La Verne. Matt has won an LA Weekly Award for video design, both the Chronos Prize and Kairos Prize for screenwriting, and three CSPA Gold Circle Awards. He has designed more than a dozen Telly Award-winning campaigns. He has been nominated for a National Youth Arts Award, a Jerry Herman Award, a LA Drama Critic’s Award, and more. Most recently, Matt won the 2016 Ovation Award for video design for his work on Man Covets Bird at 24th Street Theatre.

Emily Hopfauf
(AWiT Asst. Stage Manager):

is excited to be working on her ninth show with SMP having ASM’ed for Spelling Bee, The Glass Menagerie, Charlotte’s Web, Deathtrap, A Christmas Memory, The Odd Couple and Einstein is a Dummy and been the Wardrobe Mistress/Dresser for Always…Patsy Cline. She has constructed costumes for Color of the Stars at Childsplay Theater. She received a BA in Theater, Film, and Dance with an emphasis in costume design at Humboldt State University. While attending HSU she Stage Managed Fat Pig, Costume Designed the Spring Dance Show and worked on multiple wardrobe and run crews. Emily also is Assistant to the Management Team at SMP.

Todd McCraw
(Rep Technical Director):

moved here recently from NYC where he spent 28 years working in all aspects of theater tech, in every theater in NYC. He is head rigger for Fly-By-Night Dance Theater. He rigs for many other silk acts & trapeze acts & other theatrical productions. Todd spent four years in Big Apple Circus, assisting world-famous horse trainer & performer Katja Schumann. Other horse work: riding horses onstage at Lincoln Center for La Boheme, Aida & Manon Lescaut. Todd brings to LA his production company Sounds Like Art Inc. SLA supports live music, festivals, & corporate events. Regular clients: World Music Institute, Irish Arts Center, Brooklyn Botanical Gardens, & Korean Arts. These are Todd’s third and fourth productions at SMP having worked on Menagerie and Bee-luther-hatchee.

John M. McElveney
(AWiT Properties Design):

was an Equity Stage Manager and Lighting Designer for many years before joining ABC Television as a Production Manager. While there he worked many sit-coms, specials and awards shows. He has served as Production Manager for The Emmy Awards and was Senior Production Manager for many Academy Awards Presentations. He and the group called MacAndME designed properties for over fifty productions at the Colony Theatre in Burbank as well as other venues in the Los Angeles area. At the Falcon Theatre he has designed over ten productions. Most recently was Chapter Two and Porgy and Bess at ETC in Santa Barbara. He is also President Emeritus of the Pasadena Playhouse Alumni and Associates.

Christopher Moscatiello
(AWiT Sound Designer):

was the recipient of the 2015 Stage Raw Award and multiple Ovation nominations for Sound Design. He is also a composer, music editor/mixer and music director for theater, television and film. Recent TV credits include The Walking Dead (AMC), Psych (USA), Eureka (Syfy), Human Target (Fox), The Cape (NBC), Caprica (Syfy), Trauma (NBC), and he has scored full series, specials and promos for HBO, BBC, NBC, National Geographic and others. Other theater credits include The Kennedy Center, Arena Stage, The Folger Shakespeare Theatre, Rogue Machine Theatre, Antaeus Theatre Company, and he served as assistant conductor on the national tour of The Phantom of the Opera. Before residing in LA, Chris was the Associate Artistic Director and Conductor of the Boston Chamber Ensemble, and wrote a ballet commissioned by the Kirov Ballet Academy that had its world premiere in Washington, DC.

Kelsey O’Keeffe
(AWiT Stage Manager):

is thrilled to be back stage managing her seventh production at SMP, especially since she has had the privilege of working on all four of SMP’s school outreach shows! Kelsey previously stage managed SMP’s A Little House Christmas, Charlotte’s Web, A Christmas Memory and Einstein Is A Dummy, as well as assistant stage managed Battledrum and An Ideal Husband. Other stage management credits include the world premiere of Bend in the Road at the Carrie Hamilton Theatre (Pasadena Playhouse) and The Mission Play at San Gabriel Mission Playhouse. Kelsey is a teaching artist at Theatre 360, SODE School of Performing Arts, and Atherton Baptist Homes and is a proud alum of Muhlenberg College (Major: Theatre; Minors: Music, Dance) and Theatre 360.

Sean Paxton
(AWiT Composer):

is a composer, pianist, and musical director who returns to SMP after writing music for Deathtrap, and music directing Always, Patsy Cline. He started his career in Los Angeles at USC and has since scored films, composed for theater, and orchestrated or arranged for everything from orchestral to pop to jazz ensembles. In the past year Sean has on My Fair Lady, The Fantasticks, Sister Act, Candide, Beehive, The Robber Bridegroom, and this year will music direct Man of La Mancha at Sierra Repertory Theatre in his hometown Sonora, CA. He is a recipient of ASCAP's Harold Arlen award, and former participant in the ASCAP Film Scoring Workshop.

Diane Siegel
(Lobby & Special Events Curator):

When you grow up in a small town, you never take for granted the power of story to take you places. She hopes today’s children continue to fly to other planets, other worlds through books. And maybe if they are lucky they will come to the Sierra Madre Playhouse and see those worlds come alive with magical stage craft and acting. She loves poetry and her favorite poets are William Carlos Williams, Theodore Roethke, and Emily Dickinson. This is her 14th lobby exhibit for the Playhouse: Battledrum, 6 Rms Riv Vu, A Walk in the Woods, The Odd Couple, Einstein/Putting it Together, Always…Patsy Cline, A Christmas Memory, Deathtrap, Charlotte’s Web, The Glass Menagerie, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, A Little House Christmas, and Bee-luther-hatchee. This is the fourth Theater for Young Audiences play at SMP for which Diane has created the pre-shows and educational outreach.

Photo Credit: Gina Long