This week, the Children’s Theatre opens their production of Alice in Wonderland Jr., an exciting romp through the dreams of a little girl and based on the beloved Disney movie and Lewis Carroll tale. In preparation for your trip to see the show-because we KNOW you’re going to want to make time for this one- we thought we’d introduce you to some of the things you might see in Wonderland. A big theme in show is being able to ask the question “Who am I?” As the young-but not to be messed with- actors can tell you, they’ve spent the last 9 weeks or so figuring that out about the characters they play, so we thought we’d let THEM tell you “whoooo” they are, starting with the fearless leader, director Cheryl Skafte.
“Alice and her Wonderland. We have a history together. As a young girl, I often found myself bored with the realities of the world around me and sought escape through my imagination. I loved books. I loved asking questions. I was lucky that so early in life I found the ultimate playground just perfect for a kid like me: the theater.
My experiences at the Duluth Playhouse as a young person defined me. It helped me answer the question that Alice is asked by the Caterpillar, “Whooo are youuu?” From making friends from other schools across Duluth to meeting adult mentors who helped me get through my teenage years, the Playhouse was a second home to me.
While I never studied theater formally, being active on stage has always been a priority. Everywhere I’ve ever lived, I’ve been involved in a local theater. So, it is not surprising that when I returned to Duluth eight years ago, one of my first stops was the Duluth Playhouse.
Alice in Wonderland is my directoral debut. What an adventure! Through the process I have met over 50 young people that remind me of the magic of the theater. Over the last couple months, they have created remember able characters onstage and friendships that will last the ages offstage. In their own words, let us introduce you to some of strange and wonderful creatures you’ll meet – only in Wonderland.”
“Alice in Wonderland has a really awesome deeper meaning about ‘inner fabulosity.’ I’ve realized that you should really be yourself and you will attract the right people who like you for who you are, instead of who somebody else wants you to be.”
“I play the very anxious White Rabbit, who is always late and never has time to talk to Alice. I have had a wonderful time in wonderland. I met some great people and worked with an amazing cast.”
“The Cheshire Cat is the mischief maker. Throughout the show we try to help Alice but end up getting her all confused at the same time. The Cat has been in Wonderland the longest, and knows everything that goes on in Wonderland, so we make trouble for everyone. The Cheshire cat is like the silent protector of Alice, but is also a bit bored of Wonderland so we keep things interesting and ‘help’ people find things that they aren’t necessarily looking for.”
–Becca, Kitara and Langley
“I play the caterpillar in Alice in Wonderland. I persuade Alice to be herself and not to worry about what people think of her. Unlike the other characters, I stay by her side the entire show and help her from losing her head. She learns in the end to be herself and no one else. Zip-a-dee-doo-dah!”
“In our scene, Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum try to teach Alice about manners. They tell her who she ought to be, which only confuses her and gives her trouble. In the same way Alice gets them tangled up and confused, they confuse her by turning against her when she is trying to figure out who she is.”
-Eric and Pearl
You can meet these colorful characters and many many more when we see you at Alice in Wonderland, Jr. this weekend! Remember, it’s a one-weekend only event and the shows take place over at Marshall School’s Fregeau Auditorium. You can pre-order tickets online, over the phone (218-733-7555), or in person (office hours are 9-5pm M-F) or you can purchase at the door. Book your trip to Wonderland and we’ll see you there!
And check out Cheryl and Evan on WDIO talking about the show: http://www.wdio.com/article/stories/s2904615.shtml