LAB! Theatre has audiences peering through a different kind of looking glass.
The student-led production of “Alice: A devised Alice in Wonderland project” puts a new spin on Lewis Carroll’s classic tales, best known for the 1951 Disney adaptation of “Alice in Wonderland.”
Name: Alice: A Devised Alice in Wonderland Project”
Time: 8 p.m. Thursday-Sunday; 2 p.m. Sunday; 5 p.m. Monday
Location: Center for Dramatic Arts, Room 102
Senior Angela Sibille, director of the show, said she proposed the production this year after a lifelong love affair with the novels.
She said audience members should not expect the stereotypical Alice.
“We have this idea of Alice that is so far from the book that I was like, we have to go back to the text,” Sibille said.
“We have to bring these characters to life.”
And that is exactly what she is doing. The LAB! production does not have a single Alice — it has multiple. Sibille wanted every actor in the ensemble to play the part at some point in the show.
“I wanted to get the idea across that everyone is Alice — everyone can be Alice,” she said.
Each actor draws from his or her life experiences to play the iconic role.
Jerome Allen portrays the Mouse, as well as Alice.
“It’s more about being a 7-year-old boy instead of a girl,” he said.
“I think that girls and boys at that age think the same anyway.”
Audiences can also expect to see some lesser-known characters featured in the production.
“Practically all of the characters have the same page time and are all equally funny and loving,” Sibille said.
Sibille said she had a less conventional role as director.
“As a director of a devised piece, my main responsibility is to create a safe environment where actors can feel like they can present their ideas without feeling rejected,” she said.
In a devised piece, it is the responsibility of the actors to determine how they would put on the play, she said.
There is no official script, which leaves actors free to map their own movements.
For Rebecca Wolonick, who plays the White Knight and Cook, this leaves the interpretation of Alice up to the individual actors.
“It allows each person to determine how they would react in that certain situation,” she said.
Sibille said audiences should expect to get involved in the play and have a good time.
“There is a notion that good theater is serious theater. I want to prove that to not be necessarily true,” she said.
LAB!’s classroom production space poses challenges.
There is no stage, no set and no official costumes. Instead, actors use their own clothes with added descriptive pieces to portray their characters.
“The idea is to let the audience use their own imagination,” Sibille said.
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