EAST BEND — Forbush High School students will take audiences on a magical journey on Nov. 17 and 18 with their Theater Arts Department production of “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.” Performances will be at 7 p.m. both evenings in the Forbush High School auditorium. Tickets are $10 and will be available at the door. Children 5 and younger receive free admission.
Students from two different classes are taking turns portraying the classic characters penned by author Lewis Carroll in 1865.
“For this particular show we have two casts, one cast consists of my first period and the other my fourth period,” explained teacher and director Jamie Groce Campbell. “First period is performing on Friday night and fourth period on Saturday night, which means, each character has an alternate.
“The biggest challenge was finding ways to make the same show unique to each class. I wanted to show the students that each cast will have different interpretations of characters and circumstances,” said Campbell. “The students in each of the classes have added their own ideas, motivations, and even created their own character background. Therefore, characters for both performances are unique because it contains a piece of each individual student.”
Campbell said her favorite scenes in the production involve some of the lesser known characters such as the White Chess Queen, Red Chess Queen, The Flowers, The Knight, King of Hearts, and Humpty Dumpty.
“I am excited for the audience to meet all of these characters because they have hilariously witty lines and the students deliver them so well,” she said.
She added that she is immensely proud of her students for their work on the show.
”The students are doing such a great job finding new ideas to incorporate into the scene every day,” Campbell said. “It is so neat for students to ask if they can add their specific idea to the scene. I have not seen the same show thus far because they keep changing and adding new ideas and ways of saying particular lines. There is never a dull moment.
“This is also some students’ first time onstage,” Campbell added. “Some of them have gone from barely being able to say their name on the first day, to projecting and even adding some accents to their voices. I am truly proud of each and every student and the progress that they have made.”
Mackenzie Dyson, a junior at Forbush who plays Tweedledum, said, “I am learning to be more confident in front of people and I am getting over my stage fright. I am also learning that onstage it’s OK to be goofy.”
Another student and first-time performer said the play has allowed him to connect with fellow classmates.
“It is great to see how much we have grown as our characters and also as friends, I would have never spoken to many people in the show had I not been in the class/show,” said Nickolas Blakeley, a sophomore playing the role of Knave of Hearts.
Blakeley added, “I have learned that [theater] it is a lot of work, not just acting. The art of theater is beautiful and acting is a way for you to be someone else you’re not even if it’s just for a few minutes.”
Senior Alyssa Lane, who plays the Red Queen, has done multiple shows and loves the experience.
“I have been in six shows. My favorite thing about acting is probably that it gives the chance to escape your problems and stress, you can just focus on the show and your theater family,” she said.
Students in the production said audiences are in for a treat with this production. The jury scene is a favorite one for many of the students.
“All of the characters from the show come together to create this realistic illusion which recaps everything that has led up to this point,” explained Ashley Hendrix, who plays Humpty Dumpty.
“I like the jury scene because it brings all the characters from the show together and shows how crazy and hectic Wonderland can be,” added Mackenzie Warden, who plays Alice.
“This show is very fun, energetic, full of life and colorful characters. Each scene is unique and enjoyable for all audiences,” said Elijah Golden.
Senior Brittany White said, “‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’ is full of surprises, and it is definitely a show worth seeing.”
”The show is so comical, even I find it hard to keep a straight face,” added Ceirra Garrett.
Students in the cast and crew are Abellana Ayers, Abigail Belk, Abigail Lydick, Alexa Hernandez, Alyssa Lane, Ashley Hendrix, Audrey Shore, Brianna Cook, Brittany Calloway, Brittany Parson, Brittany White, Ceirra Garrett, Christina Hobson, Elijah Golden, Emileigh Gordon, Garrett Wood, Hannah Pettitt, Jamie Vestal, Jessy Purkey, Kacie Hutchens, Kacie McCann, Karsyn Gregory, Katrina Blevins, Kylie Bullin, Lorena Carbajal, Mackenzie Dyson, Mackenzie Warden, Mariana Patino, Michael Popp, Nickolas Blakeley, Noah Weatherman, Savannah Lane, Sierra Keoner, Tatyana Hampton, Tyler Poindexter, Yamel Cortez. Scenery and prop designers are Amber Wallace, Anna Moore, Brittany Calloway, Haley Flippin, Michael Spicer, Mikinly Speer, Morgan Beane, Nathan Rucker, Tristan Anders and Zachary Seats.
Kitsey Burns Harrison may be reached at 336-679-2341 or on Twitter and Instagram @RippleReporterK.