Entertainment

Fit for a queen

By May 23, 2011

THE NEW QUEEN Esther (Madison Renardel de Lavalette) takes her place by the King (John Beach), who doesn't suspect that his new queen has a secret. Village Life photo by Pat Dollins

 

THE NEW QUEEN Esther (Madison Renardel de Lavalette) takes her place by the King (John Beach), who doesn't suspect that his new queen has a secret. Village Life photo by Pat Dollins

One Way Productions presents Biblical heroine’s story

A devious plot and a secret identity will pull the audience into director Ingrid Laurentiis-Wilson’s uplifting musical presented by One Way Productions.

“From Orphan to Queen, The Story of Esther” tells the story of Hadassah, a young Jewish woman who transforms into Queen Esther and, by putting her own life in danger and winning the respect of the king, saves her people from a massacre.

Laurentiis-Wilson chose Esther’s story because it has a lot of drama and depth and, she said, “I guess I have a heart for the Jewish people because they’ve been through so much as a people.”

To help her cast of 22 understand the Jewish people’s plight, Laurentiis-Wilson said they studied stories of the Holocaust through Steven Spieblerg’s Shoah Foundation, an organization that records the stories of those who suffer prejudice, intolerance and bigotry. “It’s always an educational experience beyond theater and entertainment,” Laurentiis-Wilson said of her productions.

The director spent four months writing the play and Lynne Cimorelli composed the music. And though “From Orphan to Queen, The Story of Esther” addresses a heavy topic the audience will “walk out feeling truly edified,” Laurentiis-Wilson said, “that they’ve had an enriching experience and are better for it.”

One Way Productions, based in El Dorado Hills, is a 501(c)(3) non-profit theater group that primarily consists of home-schooled children, as well as adult actors. Laurentiis-Wilson originally managed the theater group in Los Angeles and moved it up here in 2007. Because of the time-consuming nature of a theater production — Laurentiis-Wilson privately coaches each actor — the group only does one play/musical a year and some summer training sessions, she said.

For more information about One Way Productions visit 1wayproductions.org.

Dates & details

What: “From Orphan to Queen, The Story of Esther”
When: June 11, 12, 15-18
Where: Three Stages at Folsom Lake College
Info: Tickets are $10 to $14. Purchase them at threestages.net or call (916) 608-6888

Noel Stack

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