Return to the Forbidden Planet Soars into APU Theater

by Brittany Robinson '08

Azusa Pacific Theater soared to new heights in their latest performance, Return to the Forbidden Planet, written by Bob Carlton and directed by Thomas Parham, Ph.D., associate professor in APU's Department of Theater, Film, and Television. The show ran for two weekends in February and March, drawing a large audience to each performance.

Return to the Forbidden Planet is a "jukebox musical" with a collection of 1950s and 60s rock and roll classics ranging from "Wipeout," "Good Vibrations," and "The Monster Mash." The plot, drawn from the MGM film, was inspired by William Shakespeare's The Tempest. 

The show was a direct reflection of Parham's interest in science fiction and fantasy, which he has loved since he was a young boy. From an office decked out in The Lord of the Rings, Star Trek, Star Wars, and Battlestar Galactica memorabilia, to writing his doctoral thesis on Star Trek: The Next Generation, he has a key understanding of society's fascination with popular culture.

A great amount of time, work, and creativity went into making this show a reality. From choreography and set design, to the making of the "way-cool robot suit," as Parham called it, the cast and crew brought this space adventure to a new level.