From left, Savanah Graham, as the white witch, Chandra Shaull, as the dwarf, and Katie Geiger, as Edmund, rehearse a scene on Tuesday from "The Lion,
From left, Savanah Graham, as the white witch, Chandra Shaull, as the dwarf, and Katie Geiger, as Edmund, rehearse a scene on Tuesday from "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" at Piedra Vista High School in Farmington. The play opened Wednesday and continues through Friday night. (Jon Austria — The Daily Times)

FARMINGTON — Piedra Vista High School drama students are bringing Narnia to the stage with black lights, projection and snow and fog machines.

"The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" opened Wednesday morning at the Taurano-Chrisman Performing Arts Center at Piedra Vista High School. The play, which is based on the C.S. Lewis children's novel, continues through Friday night.

It is part of the high school's children's theater program. Hundreds of children are brought to the school throughout the day to see the play.

Many of the children are bused to the school, and the actors meet them in character outside and escort them into the theater, said Patrick Cheney, the theater director.

From left, actors Nick Varley, as Mr. Tumnus, and Sheston Culpepper, as Lucy, rehearse a scene on Tuesday from "The Lion, the Witch and the
From left, actors Nick Varley, as Mr. Tumnus, and Sheston Culpepper, as Lucy, rehearse a scene on Tuesday from "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" at Piedra Vista High School in Farmington. (Jon Austria — The Daily Times)

Cheney said he selected the play after finding the script while cleaning. The play, which involves black lights and projection, is the most technical he has put on at the theater.

"The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" is the last play Cheney will direct at Piedra Vista High School. He is leaving the school in December to attend the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London.

He says it's emotional to think about this play being his last at PV.

"I really like these kids, and I really like doing children's theater," he said.

"The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe" consists of two casts, who put on three shows a day for three days. The shows are open for the public, as well as for school children.

The children's theater is a popular event for the high school. The 9:30 a.m. Friday showing sold out two days in advance.

Brenna Hobaugh, a junior, plays Lucy, one of the play's four main characters.

"She's so innocent, and she doesn't really know everything," Hobaugh said.

She said she was excited to play the role because Lucy gets to interact with the faun, Mr. Tumnus, who Hobaugh says was her favorite character in the book.

Mr. Tumnus is played by senior Nick Varley.

Aslan, played by Isaac Munson, rehearses on Tuesday with other cast members during a scene from "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" at Piedra
Aslan, played by Isaac Munson, rehearses on Tuesday with other cast members during a scene from "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" at Piedra Vista High School in Farmington. (Jon Austria — The Daily Times)

"To me, there wasn't another character choice," Cheney said, explaining that Varley was the obvious choice for the role.

Varley uses large movements to portray the character and stays in a crouched position to make it look like he has "faun" legs. He said this position is the most difficult part about his character.

Savanah Graham, a senior, plays the white witch, the show's villain.

"I was really happy that I got the witch because it was something new," she said.

In addition to Graham, Jynger Woodward, a junior at Piedra Vista, also stars as the white witch in the other cast.

Woodward started children's theater as a freshman when she played a flower in "Alice in Wonderland."

"You start small, but if you work hard enough, you get to be a queen," she said.

Woodward has read all seven of the books in the Chronicles of Narnia series, which includes "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe." She said one of the aspects of the series — and of "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" — she likes is that there are obviously good and evil people.

"It's something you can relate to, even if you're a little kid," she said.

IF YOU GO

What: “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe”

When: 9:30 a.m., 1:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. today and Friday

Where: Taurano-Chrisman Performing Arts Center at Piedra Vista High School, 8700 College Blvd., Farmington

Cost: Tickets are $2 each.

More info: Go to pvhs.fms.k12.nm.us.

Hannah Grover covers news, arts and religion for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652 and hgrover@daily-times.com. Follow her @hmgrover on Twitter.