‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’ comes to OBU

By Olivianna Calmes, Assistant Arts Editor

The OBU theatre department continues in their season “Awakened by a Dream” in 2019 with a zany, mysterious and mad musical. 

The much-loved story of “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” by Lewis Carroll is showcased in its own special way at OBU. 

The musical, directed by assistant professor of theatre and director of theatre Matthew Caron, will debut for one weekend and take place in the Craig-Dorland theatre located in Shawnee hall, February 15 and 16 at 7:30 p.m. and February 17 at 2:30. To purchase tickets, visit okbu.edu/theatre, call (405)-585-4350, or visit Sarkeys building Monday through Friday from 9 am to 4pm. 

The story follows Alice as she falls down a rabbit hole and finds herself in a magical fantasy world where everything seems mad. She goes on a series of adventures and meets some crazy characters like the Mad Hatter, the White Rabbit, the Cheshire cat, the Queen of Hearts, and more. She must make sure the Queen does not cut off her head. 

The show will not only be shown to the public but also have private matinees for children in Shawnee the week leading up to the show.  

“We are delighted to present Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland not only to give OBU students the opportunity to create this curious and chaotic world, but to provide children in the community the opportunity to explore this world with us,” Caron said. “It is our hope that kids of all ages will be enchanted by its music, madness and mystery, and not only enjoy a captivating retelling of Lewis Carroll’s classic tale but deepen an appreciation for the art of theatre itself.” 

Music plays a big part in making this production, and OBU is proud to present and incorporate some original compositions of OBU professor of music Dr. James Vernon. 

“Setting the words for Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland was challenging, requiring creativity of different sorts – I did not know who would be playing certain parts, how well they could sing, and what ranges I could expect to encounter,” Vernon said. “[I] hope it contributes to audience appreciation for what these marvelous actors are attempting to portray.” 

Alice will be played by senior theatre major McKenzie Reece, the White Rabbit will be played by sophomore theatre and cross cultural ministry major Bayleigh Platter and the Mouse and Cheshire Cate will be played by junior communications major Court Haygarth.  

Haygarth said that the show is short and sweet, only running about an hour and a half, but filled with laughs and mysterious characters. 

He talked about the show and the aesthetics, describing the costumes as “very loud.  

“All the costumes have a Victorian look,” Haygarth said. “The mouse costume is a one-piece swimsuit with cut off sleeves and midshorts. We bought a onesie and Alyssa, the [costumes coordinator] made a Victorian swimsuit out of it. For the Cheshire cat’s costume, I am wearing a huge blue and purple tail, tie, and ears. It is very furry, extravagant and loud” 

He said it has been hard deciding how the Cheshire cat is for this show, considering that the animated version and the Tim Burton-directed film have different portrayals. 

“It’s definitely been a challenge,” Haygarth said. “How do I make him my own, while still making him familiar enough for the people who know the story of Alice? I went with more the Tim Burton approach, which is more on the mysterious side rather than the quirky side seen in the animated movie.”  

Haygarth said he’s liked getting to explore his character. He also mentioned how fun he finds the show in general.  

“I love the mystery and the silliness about [this show],” He said. “You’re going to laugh a lot and you’re supporting local theater…it’s great fun for everyone” 

For those interested in going with Alice on her adventures in wonderland this weekend, and make sure to get seats as soon as possible.  

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