OU actors to tour musical ‘The Little Prince’

By Daud Yar

Oakland University’s department of music, theatre and dance is hosting its first on-campus performance of “The Little Prince” on Thursday, May 14 at 11 a.m. for a private audience.


“The Little Prince” was originally written in 1943 by Antoine de Saint-Exupery, was turned into a movie in 1974 and adapted as a play in 2000.

The production will visit area schools this week.

“I’m excited to see all the little kids’ reactions,” said Ashley Rozanski who plays the Rose, the first character the Little Prince has a relationship with,  “This is the first time that Oakland is allowed to tour. Everything had to be better and over the top.”   

The play centers on two main characters: the Little Prince and Aviator. Danielle DeWulf, who also appeared in “Follies,” plays the Little Prince.

“The script is very close to the book,” DeWulf said. “My favorite part is when Aviator and the Little Prince fight. It shows that they care for each other. I really like that.” DeWulf has been in four main-stage plays with MTD and said she hopes to add to that number.

Aviator, the narrator, is played by Nicholas Smith. Aviator crash lands in the Sahara Desert and later comes upon the Little Prince.

“My character just really tells the story of the Little Prince’s adventures,” said Smith. “It was hard to play Aviator. You have to find similarities that you share with the character.”

As the story progresses, the Little Prince eventually leaves his home, Asteroid 325, in search of other places. The Little Prince comes to know different beings from the planets he explores. Peter Giesel plays the various men that the Little Prince meets on his journey away from Asteroid 325.

“I play a king, a businessman, a conceited man, a lamplighter and a geogra pher,” Giesel said. “I have only a couple

seconds to change and then come back out as someone else with a different voice, physicality … stuff like that. I’m good at voices and accents. It helps me do the different characters that I have to do.” This will be Giesel’s second main-stage performance with MTD.

During the play, the Little Prince receives guidance and wisdom from the knowledgeable character of the Fox, played by Steven Ross.

“[The Fox] just likes to have fun, but he likes to teach a lesson, also,” Ross said. This is Ross’ first children’s show and he said that it presented some difficulty for him while preparing for the role of the Fox. “You would think that acting for kids is really cheesy but they understand a lot more than we realize.”

Ross has been with MTD for three years and has done eight plays.

 “Of all the characters in the book, the Snake would be the villain,” said Amanda Ryskamp, who plays the part. “It was not easy to play this role. I am nothing like the Snake.” She said she is enjoying her first year with MTD and hopes to continue performing on the main stage.

“The Little Prince” will begin touring this week and will perform at Varner Recital Hall May 29-31

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