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Barefoot to Zion
The Daily Herald - Provo, Utah - Thursday, June 19, 1997

In an article in The Daily Herald by Charlene Winters, director Charles Metten discusses the new play "Barefoot to Zion."

"The first element that sets ‘Barefoot to Zion' apart is the use of national prizewinning author Orson Scott Card as the playwright. Scott built upon a foundation laid by Kevin and Kahliel Kelly, a New York couple who initially developed the story two years ago. By using dialogue that is exciting and structuring a piece with a clear central core, Scott has emerged with a thrilling evening of theater."

Brigham young, played by Don Westover, center, in "Barefoot to Zion," urges new Church members in England to join the Saints in Zion.

Metten's experience with Card spans nearly 30 years, beginning when Card entered BYU as a freshman.

He also worked with the writer on a renovated Hill Cumorah Pageant as well as other projects, but he says "Barefoot to Zion" is his "most satisfying collaboration to date."

Daniel Cahoon portrays young man in musical walking "barefoot to Zion."
Performers Frank Basile and Susan Alexander Boren portray the musical main characters, Robert and Elizabeth Prescott.

"Scott was particularly interested in working with us because his talented brother, Arlen Card, was going to be the musical director, and this was an opportunity to work with him and write both the book and lyrics," Metten adds.

The second defining character, according to Metten, is its cinematic approach.

From left, Susan Alexander Boren and Tracy Thompson kneel above John Armstrong, who in one scene of musical takes ill during the trek.

As one of the key people to bring a film program to BYU, he says he has been directing in cinematic terms for several years, and Scott has turned his attention to writing screenplays of his books.

"We really clicked here," he explains. "We don't use blackouts. We use dissolves, cuts and cross cuts. We also use montage (a form of editing), closeups, medium shots and have developed a flow that uses light, sound and movement just like a camera."

Photos: LDS Church News

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