(Neverending Story | Photo courtesy of Lindsey Russell)
Our story begins with Bastian, a lonely boy, who is running from bullies who are chasing him, and stumbles into a curious bookshop where he discovers a curious book called The Neverending Story. Bullied by his fellow classmates and not fitting in at school, Bastian hides in the attic of his school and begins to read. As he begins reading The Neverending Story, a huge adventure surges into life. Fantastica, a land of stories, is being destroyed by the Nothing. The Childlike Empress has chosen Atreyu, a young hunter, to be the Hero of the Great Quest. Atreyu, an orphan, is an unlikely choice, but he accepts and, with his horse and companion, Artax, rides to face the menace. First, he experiences the Nothing and discovers its thoughtless destruction.
Then he is guided by a dream to the Swamps of Sadness where he meets Morla, the Ancient One, who reveals another solution. He must find the Childlike Empress a new name. Atreyu faces Ygramul the Many, befriends Falkor the Luck Dragon and solves the riddles of the three magic gates to meet Uyulala. From here, he learns that only a human child can give the Empress a new name. In despair he faces his final test where he must face Gmork, the werewolf, and returns to the Childlike Empress without a new name. He soon realizes, however, that his quest has attracted a human child. It is Bastian himself who calls out a new name for the Empress, and the story finishes with a victorious and moving conclusion.
The Neverending Story was originally a novel written by native West Germany author Michael Ende. It became an instant phenomenon and in 1979 his children’s fantasy novel, The Neverending Story, soared to No. 1 on that country’s best-seller lists. In 1984 it debuted at a motion picture and has come to be a movie classic. It was later adapted by David S. Craig and commissioned and produced by Imagination Stage and the Seattle Children’s Theatre in 2006.
BEAT Children’s Theatre is excited to debut this amazing adventure on stage. This production is led by an amazing team. The Neverending Story is directed by Bree Beal and assistant directed by BEAT alumni David Purkey. Bree leads a cast of 25 actors on this amazing adventure. The directing team has helped each actor bring their unique character to life. Through lessons of love, imagination, believing and dreaming, BEAT’s The Neverending Story is sure to leave audiences cheering for the heroes and realizing that love and imagination are aways important.