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L.A. Beat

University of Lethbridge exploring “The Little Prince” for massive mainstage production

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The University of Lethbridge is combining the efforts of several different departments to reimagine popular children’s story “The Little Prince.”

Sarah Barker and Jonas Swain rehearse for the U of L's production of the Little Prince. photo by Richard Amery


The University of Lethbridge’s production, adapted by director Nicola Elson French author and aristocrat Antoine de Saint-Expuéry’s popular children’s book “The Little Prince” runs from Feb. 10-18 in the University Theatre.


The Little Prince tells the story of a world-weary aviator whose plane crashes, stranding him in the middle of the Sahara Desert. He awakes the next morning to the voice of the Little Prince, “Please, draw me a sheep.”


Will Thomson rehearses for the U of L's production of the Little Prince. photo by Richard Amery

As the Little Prince’s curiosity takes them further on their journey together, the pilot learns of the tiny planet from which the prince has come and of his wondrous travels among the stars. The show combines elements of the new media, drama and music department.


“I’ve really enjoyed being part of a large production. There’s puppetry and shadow theatre which I’ve never worked with before,” said Jonas Swain, who plays the Geographer.


“ It’s such a big production. There’s someone on a 12 foot pair of stilts. There are so many angles to the production,” he continued.


“ I love the dance of the Bayobabs,” Swain said.

“It’s been interesting. It’s based on a children’s book, but it also explores the circle of life and death,” said Will Thomson who plays the Aviator and who narrates much of the show.

“There are such interesting characters. I’m excited to be narrating the story,” he said, noting the production will appeal to all ages.


“It’s a classic children’s story that I loved reading as a kid. It’s an incredible and beautiful story of friendship so it such a a privilege to be able to bring it to an audience,” enthused Sarah Barker, who plays the title character, the Little Prince.


“There’s puppetry and stilts. There’s so many new skills that we’e learning,” Barker continued.


“It’s been a lot of fun and it. It’s a beautiful retelling of  the story. It has been wonderful to work with Nicki (director Nicola Elson),” Barker said.


 Nicola Elson is excited to  be finally able to stage the play, which she originally planned to stage four years ago until the pandemic delayed it until this year.

“It has been great to be able to rehearse without masks and to see each other in person,” Barker said.



Elson is excited to combine the work of multiple different departments onto this production including the music department, art department, new media department and the drama department.


 There are nine cast members and four musicians on stage performing during the 80 minute loing play.


Sarah Barker is excited for U of L's production of the Little Prince running Feb. 10-18. photo by Richard Amery

“It’s not a musical, but there is music playing throughout the show,” Elson said.


“There are a lot of really beautiful moments and hidden details.The language is not too sophisticated for children, but enough to appeal to adults,” Elson said, adding they are also performing some special shows just for students from local schools.


“We wanted to do this four years ago but couldn't because of Covid. So we’re excited to be able to rehearse without safety restrictions,” she continued.


 The Little Prince runs from Feb. 10 - 18, with several special matinee showings. Tickets are $18 regular, $13 seniors and alumni, $12 children/infants and $12 students. University of Lethbridge students may reserve one complimentary ticket for this production with their student ID at the Box Office window or by going to 

— By Richard Amery, L.A. Beat Editor

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