The cast of “The Wizard of Never

Grendel Players performance this Saturday in Smithers

A royal family, a frog, a knave, a pair of fairies and two townspeople will all join a misguided wizard on stage this Saturday night.

A royal family, a frog, a knave, a pair of fairies and two townspeople will all join a misguided wizard on stage this Saturday night in the Grendel Players’ production of “The Wizard of Never, Never Land.”

“It’s very Dr. Seuss-ish,” says writer and director Valerie Laub. “It’s a rhyming play about a wizard who builds a machine that makes everything the same, always.”

As a director, Laub said she has learned the play’s message—that our differences make us great—first-hand from the Grendel Players themselves.

Staging plays is one of several skills programs the Grendel Group runs for people with cognitive and physical disabilities.

“We have to let go of agendas and plans,” Laub said. “It’s a riot.”

For instance, Laub said that in an early rehearsal, one cast member told her “’No—I’m not being a fairy. A frog!”

Laub ran with the idea, rewriting her script for a frog.

“It became a really important part of the play,” she said. “These guys really add a lot.”

All of the cast members also participate in GRENDELivery, a catering service, and GRENDELGrow, a gardening program.

Before the play starts, audience members will be treated to appetizers prepared by the cast with produce from their own garden.

Grendel Group recently bought the OneSky building on Second Avenue, and are planning to put in a commercial kitchen there.

“The Wizard of Never, Never Land” plays at 7 p.m. on Saturday at St. Joseph’s Elementary. Tickets are $10 for adults, $8 for youth 13 and under, and are available at Mountain Eagle Books and Interior Stationary.

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