Those familiar with Brownwood High School Theatre Department’s productions of the years past, may consider the title of this fall’s play, “Alice in Wonderland,” a fitting metaphor.
The “finished at last” state-of-the-art stage and theater of the Dorothy McIntosh Fine Arts Center at the high school is a “wonderland” compared to the old facility.
“We’re really excited about getting to take full advantage this year of all the possibilities offered by the new theater space,” said Larry Mathis, head of the speech and drama department at Brownwood High School. “The show features a lot of imaginative lighting and I can guarantee everyone will be able to hear regardless of where they sit.”
Though much of the theater was complete, and in fact the high school staged its production of “M*A*S*H.” in the facility last year, this year the students have had full access to the stage, dressing rooms, set building area and costume room to use them to their full potential.
The auditorium is fully ADA compliant and listening aides are available at the door for the hearing impaired.
“Anytime you get more than 35 students on stage to the degree we’ve been able to do this for this show, it is a terrific opportunity. We can involve lots of new students, not just to perform, but with the crew it takes to manage all the lights and sound for the show. This is a wonderful experience for our kids, and it makes for a great experience for our audience,” Mathis said.
“We worked across the curriculum with our art department and they created some extremely nice billboards which are displayed as you walk into the theatre.”
The show opened Monday night, and performances are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. today, Thursday and Saturday. Tickets are $6 for adults and $4 for students and may be purchased at the door, from any cast member and at the Brownwood High School front office. And a relief to those who attended productions in the last two years, in the midst of construction, parking in the newly paved lots is available in the front and back of the high school.
“This is the type of show everyone enjoys,” Mathis said. “Most of us remember the ‘Alice in Wonderland’ classic by Carroll and it is just kind of neat to see it staged right before your eyes.”
The story journals Alice’s fall through the rabbit hole into Wonderland and her desperate attempts to get back home. She is helped along the way by the Cheshire cat and is also befriended by the likes of the Mad Hatter and his companions, the Dormouse and the March Hare, and many, many other fascinating characters of Wonderland.
Mathis said the play is true to the novel, “but it offers some of what I call the ‘Disney’ effect to help move some of the characters along. We have a delightful, colorful set designed to take the audience into ‘Wonderland.’ and costumes from The Costumer, located in New York, help create the sense of wonderment brought on by the beloved characters of the story.
The “Alice in Wonderland” cast and crew includes: Sarah Savell as Alice; Ellie Rmeili as Cheshire Cat; John Paul Hernandez as White Rabbit; Megan Aust as Caterpillar; Scott Funderburg as Frog Footman; Megan Green as Cook; Rachel Taylor as Queen of Hearts; Toby Mathis as King; Victor Valenzuela and Knave; EJ Davilla (special guest artist) as Courtier; Scott Lindsey as March Hare; Jeremy Bartley as Dormouse; Julia Tharp and Hanna Sharp as Tweedledum and Tweedledee; Zac Green as Humpty Dumpty; Karson Haley as Mock Turtle; Lindsey Brooks as Gryphon; CJ Puckett and Davilla as Soldiers 1 and 2; Virgil Alvizo and Executioner; Kevin Bostick, Jose Soliz and Jarod Tipton as Gardners 2, 3 and 5; Phoenix Solis; Danielle Reding and Ali Clayton as Rose, Daisy and Violet Flower Girls; Jesse Farris and Sharla Collins as First and Second “Heart Child;” Issac Nguyen and Justin Moore, prop people; Nick Christie, lights; and Stephen White, sound.