Alice in Wonderland

A TALE OF TWO ALICES — Alice (Morgan Soundry) meets Alice (Mila Estrada) through the looking glass.

Director Jeffrey Wienckowski is returning to the Antelope Valley College to direct Sharon Holland’s stage adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s classic tale “Alice in Wonderland.”

Show times are 8 p.m., Nov. 9, 10, 16 and 17; and 2 p.m., Nov. 11 and 18 at AV College’s Performing Arts Theatre.

“‘Alice in Wonderland’ is a timeless tale of a young girl being thrust into a strange new world that has its own set of rules that she is unaware of,” Wienckowski wrote in an email.

He added Alice’s experience is something we can all relate to, whether it’s our first day of school, getting a new job, starting college or graduating and realizing you now have to be an adult.

“We have all felt like Alice … at some point in our life and like Alice, we muddle through until we learned how to deal with (it),” Wienckowski wrote.

Carroll first published “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” on Nov. 26, 1865. The story finds Alice in a strange world with strange characters, after she tumbles down a rabbit hole one afternoon. She encounters remarkable characters like the Cheshire Cat (Jodi Berg) a wise Caterpillar (Kayla Lyons), Talking Flowers, a Duchess (Paola Aros) and her Cook (Timothy Santos), the Mad Hatter (Daman Law) and the March Hare (Chrissy Patterson). When Alice finally arrives in the Court of the Red Queen (April-Star Collins), she’s in for her biggest adventure of all. The wonder-filled world of Alice is a fantastic journey for the adventurous of any age.

“The original Alice books as well as the play are filled with dream logic, our starting inspiration was the surrealist artists like Salvador Dali and Renea Magritte,” Wienckowski wrote. “Because the play is a dream, we have three different actresses playing the role of Alice, weaving their way in and out of wonderland. Just like in the dream when you’re watching yourself and yet it’s not quite you, Alice keeps asking, ‘Who am I?’”

The three actresses who play Alice are Morgan Soundy, Mila Estrada and Sara Beaudin.  

“In terms of having three Alice’s in rehearsal, it was actually really great,” Wienckowski wrote. “None of them really knew how it was going to work until we started staging and once they saw how one actress would switch to another, they became really excited about the possibility.”

He added, “Our first Alice is a 14-year-old (Soundy) and when she goes down the rabbit hole and into Wonderland, the other parts of her personality are played by college students. Since the very first rehearsal, all three of them immediately clicked, which was really heartening to see, especially how Sarah and Mila took young Morgan under their wing.”

The play’s run time is under 80 minutes, along with the fantastic and child-like imagery that Carroll conjured up, the production is ideal for families, the director added. However, they went out of their way to make sure they did not make a show strictly for children.

“The play has been designed and directed and acted in such a way that it will resonate with adults, college students into the youngest of children,” Wienckowski wrote.

He added, “We made a very conscious effort to steer away from the psychedelic drug-influenced nature that people often put upon the story, because I feel that wasn’t Lewis Carroll’s original intention. The play is really about what it’s like to be a child and that wonder that children see everywhere …  I see that in my own young children, then worked really hard to create a show that they will remember for years to come.”

Tickets cost $12 and $8 for seniors, students and AV College staff. To purchase them, visit tickets.avc.edu, or call the box office at 661-772-6580.

jdrake@avpress.com

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