The theatre department at OBU will perform “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland,” Feb. 15-17. The play is based on the novel by Lewis Carroll and adapted by Simon Reade. Performances will take place in Shawnee Hall’s Craig-Dorland Theatre on OBU’s campus in Shawnee.
Performances will take place Feb. 15 and 16 at 7:30 p.m. and Feb. 17 at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $12 for adults, $5 for students and $2 for children age 12 and under. This show is intended for all ages.
The play is under the direction of Matthew Caron, assistant professor of theatre and director of theatre.
“One of the goals of the theatre program at OBU is to expose our students to a wide variety of performance styles during the course of their studies,” he said. “We make sure to produce musicals, classical works, contemporary pieces and, of course, children’s shows.
“While it is important for us to focus on what is best for the education of our students, as theatre artists it is as important for us to maintain an audience-centered perspective. After all, without an audience, theatre can’t exist. Arguably, there is no more important theatre audience than children, for in them lies the future of the art form.”
He noted that the entire cast and crew is delighted to present “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland,” not only to give OBU students the opportunity to create this curious and chaotic world, but also to provide children in the community the opportunity to explore this world along with them.
“It is our hope that kids of all ages will be enchanted by its music, madness and mystery, and not only enjoy a captivating retelling of Lewis Carroll’s classic tale, but deepen an appreciation for the art of theatre itself. So, come take tea with the Mad Hatter, meet the White Rabbit, grin with the Cheshire Cat, and play croquet with the Queen of Hearts, but whatever you do . . . don't lose your head!”
“Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” incorporates several pieces of music into the story, featuring the original compositions of OBU Professor of Music Dr. Jim Vernon, as settings for these musical segments.
“Simon Reade's adaptation of the Lewis Carroll classic play leads us to new places.,” Vernon said. “The Wonderland that Reade portrays adds the dimension of musical commentary to the well-known story. In it, the characters tell us more regarding how they feel about the events surrounding them. These are sometimes wistful, sometimes loony, and often very insightful.”
Vernon said he feels fortunate that Caron asked him to write music to the songs contained in the Reade adaptation. He has previously composed instrumental music for OBU stage plays such as “Macbeth,” “Wind in the Willows” and “The Crucible.”
“Setting the words for Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland was challenging, requiring creativity of different sorts - I did not know who would be playing certain parts, how well they could sing, and what ranges I could expect to encounter,” Vernon said. “In the end, I hope this music helps create both mood and commentary for this delightful play, and hope it contributes to audience appreciation for what these marvelous actors are attempting to portray.”
The cast of the performance is comprised of students from OBU and members of the Shawnee community, including senior theatre major McKenzie Reece as Alice; sophomore theatre and cross cultural ministry major Bayleigh Platter as White Rabbit; junior communications major Court Haygarth as Cheshire Cat and Mouse; senior theatre major Anna Tyler as Caterpillar, Five and Alice’s Mother; and freshman theatre major Anna Smolen as Duchess, Alice’s Sister and Dormouse.
The remaining cast members include sophomore mathematics and secondary education major Gage Bullard as Cook and Gryphon; sophomore theatre major Garrett Wheeler as March Hare, Eagle, Two and Mock Turtle; junior theatre major Caleb Frank as Hatter, Duck and Seven; junior theatre major Adam S. McCollough as King of Hearts and Parrot; senior English and secondary education major Ashley Hontz as Queen of Hearts and Dodo; and fifth grade student Jorgen Caron as Alice’s Child.
Tickets for this and other shows may be purchased online at OBU Theatre. They may also be purchased in person at the OBU box office located inside Sarkeys Telecommunication Center beginning two weeks prior to the first performance. The box office is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, call (405) 585-4350.