An adaptation of Lewis Carroll's classic book. Practical solutions to all special effects. A magical trip to Wonderland!
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Alice is a play with an iconic look. When we think about the character of Alice we often think blue dress, white socks, long blond hair. Don’t feel that you have to follow the crowd when it comes to presenting this story.
This adaptation already veers from the beaten path by having three actors play the Cheshire Cat. You can go further! The theme of the adaptation identifies with one of the Cheshire’s most prominent lines “We’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.” How can you use this theme in your costuming? The Dormouse in a straight jacket? The possibilities are endless!
We used actors to be the visuals as often as possible. Actors under umbrellas were mushrooms. Crew with simple branches became the pigeon's tree. We made the hedgehog ball and wickets actors as well, and the suggestion for the music for the croquet scene was perfect. We kept our scenery fairly simple for easy transitions (2 periaktoi and a 2 tiered platform) and put more energy into fun visuals for costumes and props. Our caterpillar had a bubble pipe, which got a great response, but can be a little messy / tricky to manage. I loved the projector idea, but we didn't have the space to make it work. We had some consistent sound effects for Alice's growing and shrinking to help the audience follow those changes, along with Alice's body language and the reactions of those around her. Aside from Alice and perhaps the tea party roles, it's a lot of wonderful cameos - great parts, but very concentrated. Encourage actors to really take their moment when it comes.
This script calls for a few informal musical numbers, and a couple scenes that are performed in pantomime with musical accompaniment. We used a cut from Saint-Saëns' Aquarium for the opening scene and Strauss's Blue Danube Waltz for the croquet scene. Because of our space constraints, our scenery and costuming was fairly minimalist, but because of the strong writing (drawing heavily on direct quotes from Lewis Carroll's classic) it seemed just as effective as the full recommended production and gave our students a chance to really flex their acting chops. You need a strong Alice; she never leaves the stage!