The Rev. Paul Strudwick of St. Catherine’s, Port Coquitlam, rehearses “Voyage of the Dawn Treader” with his 32-member cast. The play was presented October 12 to 14.

The parish of St. Catherine's, Port Coquitlam, sponsored the fourth play within three years based on C.S. Lewis' Narnia series. "Voyage of the Dawn Treader" in a presentation at the Terry Fox Theatre on Oct. 12 to 14.

The Rev. Paul Strudwick again wrote the script and directed the play with Terri Steinmann. With over 30 actors aged 8 to 18, the production had the largest cast yet.

Although C.S. Lewis, an Oxford professor and Christian writer, denied the Narnia stories were allegories, they have allegorical qualities, said Strudwick. "They have a message and a meaning."

"This play is about ripping off the layers of self-centredness," he said. "It's also about journeying spiritually when you don't quite know where you are going."

The plot involves the adventures of Lucy and Edmund Pevensie, their obnoxious cousin Eustace Scrubb, on the ship Dawn Treader and on several islands, searching with their friend King Caspian and a talking mouse named Reepicheep for seven lost lords of Narnia. Among other things the group is kidnapped, one turns into a dragon, and they find a pool of water that turns anything into gold.

Only about half a dozen of the actors were from parish families, said Strudwick. Others come from local high schools, public and parochial, and from other Port Coquitlam churches. Parishioners sew the costumes and create the scenery, which this time involves a 30-foot long ship.

Rehearsing “Voyage of the Dawn Treader” in the parish hall of St. Catherine’s, Port Coquitlam

The group has already presented three of the seven Narnia stories in dramatic form: "The Lion, Witch, and the Wardrobe," "Prince Caspian," and "The Horse and His Boy." Asked why he keeps writing and producing the Narnia series, Strudwick said: "I have a thing about kids acting out their faith."

"I am now three scripts ahead of Disney," said the director. Two years ago Walt Disney Pictures released "Lion," which St. Catherine's had already done.

"Our play had everything but the special effects," said Cailean Woodbury, a Como Lake Middle School student who has been in all four productions. He plays Pug, the leader of the slave traders, in "Dawn Treader," and finds Lewis' work "powerful."

"Voyage of the Dawn Treader" was presented at 7:30 pm on Friday, Oct. 12 and Saturday, Oct. 13, and at 2 pm on Saturday and on Sunday, October 14, at the Terry Fox Theatre, 1260 Riverwood Gate, Port Coquitlam. For more information call the St. Catherine's parish office, 604 942-9812.