RISING SUN — As Alice takes a tumble into Wonderland in pursuit of the White Rabbit, audiences will also be transported to this peculiar world with its cast of colorful characters, catchy songs, and clever lines in Street Lamp Productions’ “Alice in Wonderland.”
The production will have shows March 29-31 and April 5-7 at Street Lamp Productions’ theater at Valley View Drive in Rising Sun. Showtimes and tickets are available at streetlampproductions.org.
Street Lamp Productions executive director Laura Wood said the fact that this show features not one, but four casts, presented some unique challenges for her as she was directing it.
“The hardest part with four different casts is they’re each different age groups,” she said. “They’re different skill levels, so we have to kind of amend the skillset for each group.”
In some of the other casts, actors play one or two characters, with some even sharing the role of Alice as little, regular-sized, and big Alices as she shrinks and grows throughout the show.
But in the youngest cast, a smaller group, the actors play up to three roles each.
Naomi Love, who plays the dodo bird, a flower, and a royal card, said it is both challenging and fun juggling so many different roles.
“It’s a lot of characters and you have to really show your personality … You’re a different person so it’s hard, but it’s really fun too,” she said.
Of the characters she plays, Love said her favorite is the dodo bird.
“He’s fun, he’s funny, he’s kind of a gentlemen but he’s juvenile at the same time,” she said. “He’s a very cool character. I like him a lot.”
Brin Khanjar plays the Mad Hatter and Alice’s sister, Mathilda, but she prefers the former.
“The Mad Hatter’s costume is really fun,” she said. “I get to wear two hats, which is much better than one hat. I much prefer wearing a pirate shirt and leggings to a big yellow dress.
Wood said each production SLP presents is a learning opportunity for the actors. For example, while their last show, “Newsies,” was more song and dance heavy, Wood said “Alice in Wonderland” puts more of an emphasis on developing rich characters.
“It’s about creating a Wonderland character,” she said. “[The actors are] used to playing people … but in this every single person is a fairytale character, so trying to teach them that has been our focus.”
Getting to direct this children’s production is close to Wood’s heart as she got her own start in the community theater world as a child actor.
“I have always liked doing youth theater because I love to share the thing that I grew up loving,” she said. “It’s kind of one of those things that I want to give them that experience.”
While the casts may be on the younger side, Wood said she still holds them to high standards.
“I give them all the critiques. I want it to be a good show … We run the whole program like we do with community theater in that they have to come in, they have to audition, they have to earn the role, and we have high expectations on what they need to learn and memorize,” she said.
Khanjar said all the members of SLP’s “Alice in Wonderland” have put their hearts into this show.
“It’s a lot of fun to be in and I think it’s just as much fun to watch,” she said.
Love hopes audiences will come away from the show inspired to be curious, brave and adventurous.
“You should always discover and you should always dream,” she said. “Never give up. Explore because you never know what’s ahead of you.”