December 18, 2014

Theatre students taking audience to Wonderland

By Tim Barnum|Staff writer
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STANDISH — A wacky tea party, a disappearing cat and talking caterpillar – drama fans will be witness to all of these on April 16-18 when Standish-Sterling Central Theatre presents “Alice in Wonderland.”

Judy Harper, the play’s director, says the classic tale is being performed due to popular demand.

“The kids (in Central Theatre) have been nagging me about it. I did it years and years and years ago,” she said.

But as fans of the story may recall, “Alice in Wonderland,” whether it’s the book by Lewis Carroll or the Disney animated feature, includes many bright, surreal settings and several quirky characters.

“Our scenery is really interesting. … We’re hoping to do a little trick with scenic paint and some lighting effects,” Harper said. “We’ve had to create some tricks, or what I call magic, to make it happen.

“We’re being much more imaginative.”

However, the lighting tricks won’t come without difficulty. Harper says mastering the technical aspects of the lighting and scenery was challenging during play preparation.

“The lighting is going to be really tricky,” she said. “That’s the hardest part.”

According to Harper, the actors and actresses and behind the scenes members of the theatre group built and painted the set and parents helped out in creating the several interesting costumes that will be worn during the production.

And while Harper is listed as the director of the play, which she says will last about one hour and 45 minutes, she says the title doesn’t necessarily belong only to her.

“I can’t say all the directing is mine because I actually have two student directors who assisted,” she said. “I like the collaborative effort.

“We work together as a group to put it all together.”

Harper says auditions for “Alice in Wonderland” were held at the end of February. The play starts at 7 p.m. all three nights and costs $5 for students and $6 for adults. On Saturday, April 18, audience members can also attend a special tea party, which includes a dessert buffet, by purchasing advance tickets at $8 for students and $10 for adults.

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