Nov 102011
 
Authors: Lianna Salva

he Young Producer’s Organization is entering the world of children’s theater for the first time Friday in its debut of “The Little Prince,” an adaptation of Antoine de Saint-Exupery’s children’s book, “Le Petit Prince.”

But the story is meant for adults as well, not just children, said French Literature and Cultures graduate student Irina Yakubovskaya, the director of the play.

“It’s equally life-changing for both,” she said. “My goal is to make people think art never answers any questions. If at least one person from the audience walks out thinking about something they never have before, the goal is achieved. If you change one person’s world, that’s enough.”

Kevin Bartz, a junior creative writing major, plays the title character, the Little Prince.

“The Little Prince walks out on his life to experience more of the universe. I’m studying abroad next semester. I feel I’ve been able to draw upon my own relationships with that,” Bartz said. “I’m walking out on my life to learn more about the world.”

The story is a commentary on the differences between the thought processes of children and adults. It is also an anthem of friendship between the Little Prince and everyone he meets on his adventures, including the narrator of the story: a pilot who has crashed in the Sahara desert.

The Pilot, played by senior theater major Bryan Connolly, is surprised to see the Little Prince in the vast desert and even moreso when the Prince demands a drawing of a sheep.

“The Little Prince gives him hope,” Connolly said. “There’s certain parallels between them. It’s like watching the progression of the pilot’s childhood.”
The Little Prince explains he lives on a very small asteroid that has a rose, two active volcanoes and one extinct volcano (though one never knows). When he travels to the other planets, they are equally as small or even smaller. Connolly also explained that, like Bartz, traveling to different countries allows him to draw from personal experience for his character.

“I definitely get the whole aspect where you meet a random, unique person and you’ll probably never see them again, but they have a great impact on your life,” he said.

The reserved seating tickets were sold out in 15 hours, and there has been a matinee Saturday performance added because of the popularity of the show, according to Yakubovskaya.

She said she is excited that YPO is becoming a bigger and more well-known organization, considering it is entirely student-run.

Because of limited seating, audience members are advised to arrive at the UCA large acting lab at least an hour before performance. Tickets will be given at the door and are first come, first serve.

Collegian writer Lianna Salva can be reached at verve@collegian.com.

What: YPO Production of “The Little Prince”

When: Tonight at 8 p.m.

Saturday, Nov. 12 at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m.

Sunday, Nov. 13 at 2 p.m.

Where: University Center for the Arts, 2nd floor large acting lab

Cost: Free

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