Cast: 4m., 3w. (Extras as desired.) Everyone knows this ancient tale of a runaway slave who stops to aid an injured lion, is recaptured, sent to the arena to be killed by the beasts, and is saved because of his random act of kindness. What you may not know, however, is that the tale is true! In the course of his research, author James Engelhardt found a translation of the ancient Roman tale that inspired both Aesop and George Bernard Shaw. It relates the eyewitness account of a man named Apion who actually saw the encounter between the slave, Androcles, and the grateful lion. “While the play scored high on the giggle meter, it also scores a high I.Q. because Engelhardt takes the high road to Rome, employing sophisticated language, complex characters (including three strong female roles), an endearing lion who doesn’t need to speak, intriguing conflicts and a bag full of surprises that end the play with an emotional domino effect.” (Chicago Tribune) Approximate running time: 65 minutes. Area staging.