Bob Jones to present ‘Androcles and the Lion’ this weekend

Rehearsing a scene from "Androcles and the Lion" are Sarah Barker, standing from left, and Marissa Plunk and Kristen Mitchell, seated from left, Delaney Mayer, Kat Cox and Abby Hubbard. (CONTRIBUTED)
Rehearsing a scene from “Androcles and the Lion” are Sarah Barker, standing from left, and Marissa Plunk and Kristen Mitchell, seated from left, Delaney Mayer, Kat Cox and Abby Hubbard. (CONTRIBUTED)

MADISON – This weekend, Bob Jones High School drama department will present “Androcles and the Lion,” a play that shows the value of a simple act of kindness.

The actors prove that “taking a chance to understand and help someone vastly different to yourself can open the door to friendship,” Dwayne Craft said. Craft and Mary Davis are directing their drama students.

Andrew McCauley is in the title role as Androcles. Naia Erkelens and Samantha Stratton are portraying the Lion.

Seth Slaton and Alex Clark are playing Lelio; Lydia Chappel and Alexi Bolton (Isabella); Alice Grissom and Sarah Combs (Pantalone); and Spencer Webb and Sawyer Ragan (Capitano). Having two casts allows the actors “to collaborate on their roles, learn from one another and share ideas,” Craft said.

In the classic fairy tale, escaped Roman slave Androcles flees to the jungle where he helps an injured lion with a thorn in his paw. They live as friends until the emperor’s men capture Androcles.

For punishment, Androcles is thrown to a lion in the arena. Surprisingly, Androcles is not eaten alive because he encounters the lion he had helped. This scenario leads to an ending twist.

Bob Jones is not presenting a musical this year, because “we alternate years with James Clemens High School to afford the community a wider variety of theatre and to create a unique opportunity for collaboration with our sister school,” Craft said.

Bob Jones musical director, Mary Davis, has been working with Amy Patel at James Clemens on “Little Shop of Horrors.” In 2015, Patel will return the favor. “It gives us as teachers and directors the opportunity to learn from one another,” Craft said.

Jessie Tilton at Mountain Brook High School created the lion costume. “He’s a good friend and great designer,” Craft said. The design has some influence from “The Lion King” but “it’s softer and more kid friendly.”

Show times are April 25-26 at 7 p.m. and a 2 p.m. matinee on April 26. Tickets are $5 and available at the door.

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