TALLMADGE – A book many read in their childhood will come to life as part of the 25th anniversary for a local community theater.

Dynamics Community Theater of Tallmadge will perform “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” Dec. 7 and 8 at 7 p.m.

Auditions were Sept. 25 and 26 with a cold read-through the script. Actors hoping for a part signed in and were given a page of the script. They studied the part in the hallway while waiting for their audition in a separate room.

Director Pat Stupi, assistant director Bella Fothergill and producer Leah McConnell conducted the auditions.

“I didn't start out directing,” Stupi said.

Stupi worked backstage and on costumes and sets.

“I love organizing and working with all these talented people,” Stupi said. “They work so hard.”

“The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” has 16 main characters and another 20 supporting cast, Stupi said.

Stupi said she looks for voice quality, if they can project and do they just read the part or do they have an animated presence during the audition.

“I choose how they fit the character,” Stupi said. “And age.”

The Dynamics Community Theater is celebrating its 25th anniversary with a lion theme. “The Wizard of Oz” was performed in July and this is the second of three “lion” shows, Stupi said.

Dynamics creates many of its costumes and sets with volunteers Erica Cook, Carol McConnell and Heather Stauffer in charge of costumes and Connie Cramer and Tom Jensen in charge of sets.

“The costumes will be interesting,” Stupi said. “We have a lot of animal costumes.”

The cast will be chosen by Sept. 29 and rehearsals begin the first week in October, Stupi said. The cast will rehearse two evenings and Saturday mornings every week for the show.

Stupi looks forward to the final production as a director.

“You can sit back and watch your dream come to life,” Stupi said.

The actors came from surrounding communities to audition for the play based on “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe,” a fantasy novel for children by C. S. Lewis published in 1950 and the first of seven novels in The Chronicles of Narnia.

Narnia is a land of mythical creatures and talking animals with the White Witch ruling for 100 years of deep winter. Four English children, Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy, are relocated to an old country house in 1940 during the World War II evacuation of London. Lucy discovers a magical wardrobe that transports her next to a lamppost in the forest of Narnia. The other children join her in saving Narnia from the witch and restoring the rightful king, Aslan, a lion. Edmund falls under the witch's spell, and Aslan sacrifices his life to save him. After Aslan comes back to life, good forces battle the witch, and Aslan kills her. The four children rule the kingdom, but 15 years later they find the lamppost, return through the wardrobe and become children again as if no time has passed.

Madion Skinner, 17, of Cuyahoga Falls has been in four plays.

“Narnia has always been one of my favorite books,” Skinner said. “I read it when I was 8 or 9.”

Skinner who has been studying dance for 15 years said she like to entertain and doesn't care what part she gets.

Morgan Coleman of Cuyahoga Falls was Hickory in the “Wizard of Oz” and was hoping for the part of Tumnus, a faun.

“I remember the book,” Coleman said. “I like fantasy and adventure with mythical creatures. I've always enjoyed hearing about mythical creatures and this has a lot [of them] in it.”

Adam Kee, who is in the upcoming Lizzie Borden play at ANTIC in Cuyahoga Falls was auditioning for a part and brought his two nieces, Sabrina Tauch, 16, and Jordan Tauch, 12. Recently their father retired from the U.S. Navy and they moved to the area.

“Theater is like a family working together with a similar interest,” Kee said. “It's fun to come out and be part of the show.”

The McWilliams family auditioned together with parents Larry and Helen reading the parts of Aslan the lion and the witch. Helen played the witch in “The Wizard of Oz.” Their children George and Laura read as well. George was happy to play any part and Laura who was too old for Lucy, read for the part of Susan. Laura was Dorothy in “The Wizard of Oz.”

“They [children] have grown up in theater,” Helen said.

The play which takes place during World War II has a theme appropriate for any time.

“Good conquers evil even when all is lost,” Helen said.

Reporter Laura Freeman can be reached at 330-541-9434 or lfreeman@recordpub.com