REVIEW: "The Sword in the Stone"—Sierra Repertory Theatre

"Gee-hosaphat! What a show!"

Sierra Repertory Theatre is delighted to announce that a streaming digital production of “The Sword in the Stone” is now available for streaming, beginning January 2021. The magical 45-minute adventure is part of SRT in Schools, our touring program that brings professional theatre to our county’s schools absolutely free of charge.


SRT in Schools and “The Sword in the Stone,” are sponsored by Mary Stuart Rogers Foundation, Sonora Area Foundation and the California Arts Council. SRT in Schools began in the fall of 2019 with “The Commedia Cinderella,” and continued into 2020 with “Peter Rabbit,” though was forced to close after one performance due to the state’s stay at home order.

“A lot of people were asking if this would be available to rent,” says Jerry Lee, Associate Artistic Director for SRT. “After further negotiations with the author and updating our website to be able to handle a streaming production, we’re so pleased to be able to offer the show to anyone who wants to see it!” The streaming digital production is available for $10 per three-week rental.


“We’re proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish during this unusual time,” says Scott Viets, Producing Artistic Director for SRT. “Our SRT in Schools program has been put through the wringer from the outset: Power outages during “Cinderella,” the shelter-in-place mandate during “Peter Rabbit” into cancelling our entire season in 2020. But we are

committed to honoring our promise to the community to provide access to professional theatre for our local youth. We thank our sponsors for their tremendous support, and we hope that you too will support our educational programming by purchasing a rental to “The Sword in the Stone.”


“Thanks to you, your donations have provided us with a lifeline during these strange and uncertain times,” added Viets. “We are completely blown away by your fierce support, humbled by your graciousness, and inspired by your dedication.”


In the show, Merlin, the winsome wizard of Camelot, guides Arthur through life’s lessons as the young pupil grapples with sibling rivalry and his desire to be a knight instead of a measly squire to his big brother Kai. The 45-minute play is packed with comedy, drama and excitement as students see Arthur become a fish, a bird, battle a dragon and reach the sword in the stone. In the course of his studies Arthur learned the meaning of “real magic” and found himself worthy of his awesome duty.


The author of this adaptation, Kathryn Schultz Miller, has penned over 70 plays for young audiences. Her numerous awards include the prestigious National Endowment for the Arts Playwriting Award. She served as Artistic Director of the professional ArtReach Touring Theatre for over 20 years. With plays produced around the world, Miller is one of

the nation's most produced playwrights for young people.


“The Sword in the Stone” is a novel by British writer T. H. White. It was published in 1938 as a stand-alone work, but later became the first part of a tetralogy, "The Once and Future King."


The SRT in Schools production stars audience favorite Ty Smith (SRT’s “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner,” “Disney’s Beauty and the Beast”) as Merlin, the frenzied Wizard who narrates the journey. Betsy Moore (SRT’s “Grease,” “Ripcord”) returns in dual roles as the roguish Sir Kai and as the crafty Princess Guenever. Kyle Moses (SRT’s “Grease,” “Holiday Jukebox”) takes the stage as the earnest young Arthur. “The Sword in the Stone” is directed and designed by Jerry Lee, with combat choreography by Ty Smith, and lighting by Joanna Hobbs.


For viewing, and more information about Sierra Repertory Theatre's SRT in Schools, please visit www.SierraRep.org or call the Box Office at (209) 532-3120. Follow Sierra Repertory Theatre on Instagram at @SierraRep; and on Facebook at Facebook.com/SierraRep


Chris Daniels

Arts & Entertainment Reviewer

The Show Report

www.theshowreport.org


 © 2020 by KDaniels 

Chris Daniels, Arts Reviewer

The Show Report