By Lucy Volker
Children’s classic The Velveteen Rabbit is a spotlight of the season at Lakewood Playhouse. Offering themes of love and imagination, this production is a partnership with Lakewood Playhouse Youth Theater Group and features a combination of adult and young actors.
“The Lakewood Institute of Theatre spotlight show,” says managing artistic director John Munn, “was created to make an annual chance for our young actors to have more opportunities to perform in roles that typically are given to adults while, at the same time, get the chance to work with a small group of veteran adult actors in a big main stage show.” The Lakewood Institute of Theatre is the educational component of Lakewood Playhouse and offers theater-education classes to all ages of youth. It’s fitting to have young actors be in such a family-friendly production, as it adds lightness and whimsy and makes it relatable for children. Education director Debbie Armstrong picked The Velveteen Rabbit for this year’s spotlight show because it was her favorite when she was a child.
The Velveteen Rabbit was written by Margery Williams in 1922. It’s about a boy who receives a stuffed rabbit for Christmas. The rabbit isn’t as shiny as some of the boy’s other toys and initially gets forgotten. Eventually the boy begins to love the rabbit and, through some magical moments, the stuffed rabbit becomes real. “It’s the story,” says Munn, “of what love means to the people who cherish us and are deserved to be cherished. It is also the about the joy of discovery of what makes things in our lives important and real to us, including ourselves.” The audience can expect an imaginative production that parallels the imaginative nature of the plot. The show runs around 90 minutes and includes one intermission.
The Velveteen Rabbit
7 p.m. Thursdays – Saturdays, Oct. 25 – Nov. 3
2 p.m. Sundays, Oct. 28 and Nov. 4
5729 Lakewood Towne Center Blvd., Lakewood