Alice in Wonderland

by Fiona Carroll

VERY MERRY UNBIRTHDAY TO YOU: The citizens of Wonderland gather around the Mad Hatter  (Angel Martinez) as he attempts to repair the White Rabbit’s (Juliana Velazquez) watch. Musical Theater spent months rehearsing the whimsical production, giving full rein to student director Gabriella Scott. Photo by Fiona Carroll.

Alice in Wonderland has been a childhood favorite since the 1860s when Lewis Carroll originally published the novel, which later came back into favor with the movie adaption in the early 1950s. The colorful scenes, well-written characters, and catchy songs are all part of the allure that is the dream world known as Wonderland. For their winter production, Musical Theater was up to the challenge to live up to the beauty and awe of the original by recreating the well known and loved phenomenon.

Alice in Wonderland Jr. takes place in Victorian era England and the fantasy world, Wonderland and follows Alice, played by senior Francesca Pinilla, senior Julissa Perez, and sophomore Maria Cotrino, as she tries to find her way home after following the White Rabbit (senior Juliana Velazquez) to Wonderland where she encounters the Cheshire Cat (sophomore Tabitha Santillan), the Mad Hatter (senior Angel Martinez), and the Queen of Hearts (Celina Pomare). This production was the first show put on by the new Musical Theater class. The show was student-led, directed by junior Gabriella Scott with the assistance of Amy Nesmith, the musical theater teacher.

“This show was put on entirely by our cast. It was student directed and student choreographed,” Santillan said. “We all worked very hard on this show to make it amazing in a short amount of time, and truly worked hand in hand.”

One thing that made the show unique was that the Alice was played by three students, requiring clever set pieces and movements. During the musical, Alice changed sizes during various scenes, requiring different students to play her in her different sizes. Pinilla played Alice when she was regular size, while Perez played Tall Alice and Cotrino played Small Alice.

“It was very cool to find out what my character had to feel in different scenes,” Pinilla said. “Since the other Alice’s took over in different scenes, I had to consider what they’ve experienced when figuring out how Alice would treat a character or how she would feel in the current scene.”

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