The Folds of Space: EMU’s "A Wrinkle in Time" was a quick-paced journey for the whole family
Audiences at Eastern Michigan University’s Liberty Theatre traveled through time and hopped across realms over the weekend.
Tracy Young’s adaptation of A Wrinkle in Time, based on the book by Madeleine L’Engle, was a fast-paced family adventure that follows Meg Murry (Annabelle Rickert), an outcast at school who has trouble fitting in and making friends. The only people she’s close to are her mom (Amanda Bates) and her spunky younger brother, Charles Wallace (Josi Middaugh). Meg’s father (Jonathan Bias) has been missing for quite some time, and she’s still determined to figure out what happened to him.
One day, Charles Wallace convinces Meg they should check out the haunted house at the bottom of the hill. On the way they run into Calvin (Chandler Graham), who joins the siblings. At the house, they meet the eccentric Mrs. Whatsit (Brookelyn Hannah), Mrs. Who (Maura Doyle) who only talks in quotes, and the ominous voice of Mrs. Which (Laney Bass) whose presence is everywhere but isn’t seen by the kids. Turns out they are magical beings that can travel through space and time via a tesseract, a form of traveling by folding the fabric of space and time.
The three women claim to know where Meg’s dad is and can help her find him. Turns out, he knows how to tesser, too, and has been trapped on a different planet lightyears away. Desperate to get their father back, Meg and Charles Wallace agree to go with the witches, and Calvin goes as well.
They travel to multiple planets and learn that the enemy they're fighting is The Black Thing, a dark cloud that is covering planets. They go to Camazotz, a dark planet where Meg’s father is held prisoner because he refused to have his mind taken over by IT, a giant brain that makes everyone on the planet behave like robots. While trying to save her father, Charles Wallace is overtaken by IT, becoming one of the puppets on the planet. Meg frees her dad but when he tessers them away, Charles Wallace is left behind.
Can Meg save her brother? Can her family be reunited as a whole? The show is one about hope, determination, and fighting for those you love, but does Meg have enough fight?
The show was very well cast, led by director Jennifer Felts. It was quick-paced, never lagged, and took the audience on a journey. The entire ensemble was fantastic, with several actors playing multiple roles. Maura Doyle was hilarious as the wacky Mrs. Who, and Josi Middaugh was superb as Charles Wallace, with fantastic physical acting and mannerisms.
The set by Jeromy Hopgood was whimsical and timeless, and I loved that he made the paper for the projects wrinkled. Projections designer Dustin D. Miller excelled with this show, taking us to numerous locations with his beautiful work and creating beautiful atmospheres. Frankie Cramer’s sound design also did an amazing job of setting the scene, and the underscores were moody and ethereal.
A Wrinkle in Time was fun to watch from start to finish, and every aspect was strong and balanced. It's too bad the show only ran from November 30 to December 2 because there were no wrinkles to iron out with this one.
Marley Boone is a theater professional who has been in the industry since 2015. While living in Philadelphia, she wrote theater reviews for DC Metro Arts.