By Cody Willoughby
TROY — “Alice,” a play by Robb Willoughby based upon the characters of Lewis Carroll, will be presented by Troy High School on Saturday, Nov. 4, and Sunday, Nov. 5.
The show will be presented in the Troy High School auditorium on Saturday at 7p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.
Drama director Irene Imboden has been enthusiastic to retell this story on stage.
“I’ve been looking five or six years for a version of this,” Imboden stated. “I read eight different adaptations and didn’t like any of them. I was about to adapt my own, but last year we saw Franklin High School do this production. I contacted them and they told us the story of Robb Willoughby, who they commissioned to write the play. We contacted him for the rights, and he said yes. It’s a story I’ve always loved, and it was worth waiting for the right script.”
Although the narrative of “Alice” is familiar to many, particularly through the Disney animated feature and the Tim Burton film, Imboden made clear that Troy’s production is not directly taken from either adaptation.
“This is an adaptation of the books,” Imboden stated. “Our show contains material from both ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’ and ‘Through the Looking Glass.’ It’s all meshed into one story.”
Imboden has been involved with the Troy High School drama program for 25 years, and has seen many students grace the stage. For some, it not only provides education in the fine arts, but also instills direction for their future.
“The theater program has helped me find what I’d like to do with my life,” said senior Jessica Sutherly, a four-year participant in the program and stage manager on “Alice.” “I’m going to college to major in design and technology. ‘Alice’ has been a challenge. This is the biggest set we’ve done in my four years, with the most moving parts. It’s a very fun show.”
Senior Charlotte Snee, a four-year participant who portrays Alice in the show, said, “It’s a very diverse group of people coming together on one project to make it our own. I love the fact that this is a story that a lot of people know, but it’s great that the material is so flexible and there are so many different ways to tell it and interpret it. I think that’s why it’s lasted such a long time.”
“As a show, ‘Alice’ is unique because it takes a lot of oddities that wouldn’t usually work, and gives them a story that makes them work,” said senior Derek Szklany, a third-year participant portraying the White Rabbit. “The show gives each actor a chance to show off. Every scene has new characters coming in, and it gives the cast a lot of diversity. A lot of the actors are great at playing to the zany and eccentric, and I think people should come out to see that.”
Along with Snee and Szklany, the cast includes Brandon Allen as Tree and White Paper Suit Man, Autumn Bruns as Rose, Jake Darby as Humpty Dumpty, Alissa Dever as the Jabberwocky, Kayly Gagel as Alice’s sister, Victoria Glover as Daisy, Drake Gudim as Card, Abby Johnson as Tiger Lily, Sydney Hooker as the Cheshire Cat, Jessica Loy as Violet and Horse, Skylar Nallen as Guard, Maddi Reed as Marigold and Goat, Angie Rice as Blue Bell, Macie Sadler as the Mad Hatter, Molly Sanders as Duchess, Rayn Shamblin as the Red Queen, Gabriel Shelton as the Caterpillar, Emily Shurtz as Joker, Emily Stoeckmann as the Door Mouse, Hannah Summers as Dahlia, Colleen Watkins as Tweedle Dee, and Jaclyn Watkins as Tweedle Dum. Puppeteering is featured by Ivy Hamman and Sierra Gross.
Tickets are $5 for students and $8 for adults, and are available during all lunches in the commons, at the main office, and at the door 30 minutes before each production.
The two-act production runs approximately one hour and 45 minutes, including its intermission. It is requested that all attendants arrive no later than 15 minutes before the start of the performance.
For more information, visit www.troy.k12.oh.us.