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TURLOCK — The Loft Theatre at the Carnegie Arts Center has been transformed into a dragon’s lair — full of books.
The multi-dimensional set also morphs into a number of other scenes with the use of visual media affects as LightBox Theatre Company presents its latest production, “The Reluctant Dragon.”
The show opens Friday at 7 p.m. and runs through Sunday, May 1. In all, a total of nine public performances and three school field trip shows are scheduled. Local schools are bringing students to the school performances and each student will receive a copy of “The Reluctant Dragon,” by Kenneth Grahame.
“The Reluctant Dragon” is a charming story about a boy who meets a dragon living in the hills just outside his village. The boy and dragon find that they share a love of reading and poetry and become friends. When the villagers find out about the dragon, however, they quickly call St. George the Dragon Slayer to kill the dragon. The boy convinces St. George that the dragon is not a threat, and they work together to protect the dragon from the villagers.
With the use of projection effects, co-founder Eric Broadwater and his design team brought the play to life and created a beautiful set for the production. For example, Broadwater was able to depict the Dragon’s home library of thousands of books without actually staging thousands of books.
Co-founder Stefani Tsai and her team has assembled another talented cast, including Yaya Muñoz (Boy), Ron Daily (Dragon), Jonathan Howard (Father), Kristina Overman (Mother), and villagers played by Mark Hamilton and Angeleigha Arnold. Hamilton is also St. George, the dragon slayer.
Muñoz recently appeared in Sierra Repetory’s “The Music Man,” Daily was the lead in “The Fantasticks” this spring at Stanislaus State, and Hamilton was Winnie the Pooh in Stanislaus State’s “House at Pooh Corner.” LightBox fans who saw “Bunnicula” this past fall will recognize Arnold, who played Chester the Cat.
“The Reluctant Dragon” followed LightBox Theatre Company’s successful debut last October with its presentation of “Bunnicula,” at which more than 700 people attended the public and school performances.