The Neverending Story:
From the Page to the Stage
written by Reese Walker
Imagine a world where the line between reality and fiction is blurred, where dragons can fly, and where stories come to life… welcome to Fantastica! Follow the young and curious bookworm, Bastian, into a land full of magic and luck. Watch as Bastian reads the neverending story of Atreyu’s journey to save the land of Fantastica from The Nothing– an infinite void that consumes all in its path. Sit back and enjoy a heartfelt story of loss, identity, and friendships, but not without a few laughs and songs along the way.
The production will amuse younger audiences with its bright colours, jokes, elaborate costumes, and musical numbers. For more mature audiences, they can take a trip back down memory lane with a new take on the 80’s classic: The Neverending Story.
The cast and crew of St. Francis Xavier High School has been working hard since early October on their production of The Neverending Story (Atreyu and the Great Quest). Adapted from Michael Ende’s novel that was published in 1979, Daniel S. Craig turned the renowned book (and 1984 movie) into an enthralling script. The cast has put many hours into weekly rehearsals, while learning all the more about theatre.
With colourful sets, costumes, and props created by the high school production class, the story truly springs to life. The production could not have been put on without the tech crew and teachers who seamlessly work the sound and lights. The stage managers help every transition run smoothly, along with the ensemble, choreographed by teachers Olivia Maiorino and Julie Stevens. And finally, the directors, Tamara Capyk and Elizabeth Cloutier, who put in endless amounts of hard work, made this production possible.
Mrs. Capyk’s high school production class designed and brought the sets, props, makeup, and costumes to life. The set resembles a pop-up book, and as Bastian reads The Neverending Story, it comes to life around him in bold, contrasting colours. With turning flats and more, the rainbow palette juxtaposes the real-world’s dreary colours that reflect Bastian’s mood. Many actors play more than one role, so the production class worked hard to create cohesive makeup and costume designs for every character. From lunch bags to the Auryn (the emblem of the Childlike Empress), the array of props created were both countless and creative; essential to the reality of both the fictional and real-world.
All six short songs were written and composed by three Grade 11 students: Reese Walker (lyrics), Katie Saunders (composer), and Laura D’Souza (composer). Laura wrote all of the scores and recorded them on her piano, with the help of Katie to create the complex melodies. After Reese had written all the songs, the three sat around the piano for many hours over a few months to bring the songs to the ears of their audiences.
The first song, “Invisible”, is sung by Katie Saunders as the ghost of Bastian’s mother, who overlooks him and wishes that he could see her love for him, even if she’s not there in person. However, the reprise of “Invisible” (the final song), sung by Katie Saunders as the Childlike Empress and Nicolas Torres Ramos as Atreyu, tells of the story of the characters in Fantastica who wish that Bastian would join them in their fantasy, and save them from The Nothing.
“The Hero Walks Alone” is the second song performed in the play, sung by Nicolas Torres Ramos as Atreyu. It is a song of sorrow, after the loss of his best friend, Atreyu must continue his journey all by himself.
Reese Walker sings “Echoes” as Ygramul the Many with her spider-children; it’s the classic villain introduction that is both fun and creepy.
Ella Villeneuve as Engywook, Max Bolivar as Urgl, and Ruby Wallner as Falkor, all rap “Da Gnomix”, which is a fun song to introduce the couple of gnomes to the oblivious Atreyu. “Reaching For You” was originally written to have a reprise, but was later combined into one grand song sung by Ariana Gomes as Bastian and Nicolas Torres Ramos as Atreyu, who is trying to reach Bastian through a mirror. Every song is heartfully sung by each actor, and brings the writer and composers’ vision of songs to life.
From sound cues, to microphones, to lighting, the St. FX tech crew had their work cut out for them, which they executed stunningly every time. Led by Mr. Busa and Mrs. Comerford, the students dedicated their time at every dress rehearsal, who dealt with any bumps in the road gracefully! Nonetheless, they are all amazing at what they do, so every sound effect, song, lighting cue and microphone were turned on and off precisely to make each scene run smoothly. With rain sounds during transitions, music for intermission, and special lighting colours for each new setting, the sound and lighting is designed to fit every aspect of Fantastica.
The Neverending Story was a learning experience for each student and teacher involved in St. FX’s play. Since COVID-19, everyone has been longing for another production to be put on; to act, to direct, to sing, or to work behind the scenes. The story of Bastian and Atreyu’s journey of the great quest is one that St. FX has the pride and honour to tell. The characters have grown with the actors over the last few months. It is an experience that the entire cast will carry with them in the future. Everyone has contributed so much over a course of several months, now the cast and crew of St. Francis Xavier High School is more than ready to bring everything they’ve got to the stage!
If you missed the opening performance on April 15th at 1pm, you’re in luck! You can come see The Neverending Story at 7pm from April 19th-21st!
Show Dates & Times:
Saturday, April 15th @ 1pm (Children’s Matinee)
Wednesday, April 19th @ 7pm
Thursday, April 20th @ 7pm
Friday, April 21st @ 7pm (Cappies Night)
Ages 4-18: $5
Children 3 & Under: Free
Get your tickets here => The Neverending Story – Online Ticket Sales
Tickets may also be purchased at the door.