The WordPlayers isn’t producing The Little Prince this season; the Clarence Brown Theatre is. However, The Little Prince is a play that would very much fall into the mission of The WordPlayers. I am privileged to be playing the role of The Aviator in the CBT production.
The Aviator never leaves the stage during this long one-act play, but he doesn’t say a lot. He listens a lot. He has a lot to learn. On the surface, his is a journey that takes him from dangerous, life-threatening circumstances to safety. But on other levels, his journey is one that takes him from loneliness to friendship, from a life of left-brain-only logic to a life filled with imagination, from a kind of spiritual and emotional deadness to a re-birth of the fullness of life.
Sitting there on the stage in recent rehearsals, I, as The Aviator, have been hearing and pondering lines such as:
“It is only with the heart that one can see rightly.”
“What is essential is invisible to the eye.”
“It will look a little as if I were dying; that is not true. It’s just that this body is too heavy for me to carry all that way.”
As a Christian, I can’t help but take these words as allegory, affirming the spiritual aspect of life, the existence of the soul, and the hope of life in heaven after life on earth.
In many ways, The Little Prince is an odd and sometimes dark story. However, Antoine Saint-Exupery, the author of the original novella upon which the play is based, has given me a gift. He, along with the boundless talents of my fellow company members at the CBT, allows me, night after night, to marvel at and revel in the glory and mercy of God. Because of this experience, I think I might know what it means to “hear the sunset.” Amazing.