MOSES LAKE — There has always been something special about that perpetually late rabbit, slightly kooky hatter, big-grinned cat and little girl whose adventures have been the stuff of legend for more than a century. Likewise, there is also something special about a group of high school students working together to present a tale of old and to do it in such a way that the magic that made the original so unique isn’t lost and is only amplified and pushed to new possibilities.
“I never did theater in high school. I didn’t really do much of anything to tell you the truth. I always admired those kids, though, and still do admire kids who can take a story that everyone knows and stay true to the original story while making it their own,” audience member Dale Davis remarked after Friday’s performance of “Alice in Wonderland” at Moses Lake High School.
The production, which started on Wednesday and ended Saturday night, combined the stories of “Alice in Wonderland” and “Alice Through the Looking Glass.” One unique aspect of the MLHS production is the play was entirely student run. There were some outside volunteers who helped put together the elaborate set, but MLHS students themselves did the heavy lifting when it came to painting, costumes, props and lighting.
“My nephew is actually one of those kids that helps with the scene changes and all of that. There is actually a lot more than meets the eye with all of that stuff. It’s very technical and has to be on point every time. I guess the main message would be that plays are more than talented actors and actresses. It takes a team to put on a successful show,” Stephanie Jones said.
The play itself takes viewers down a rabbit hole that most first went down decades ago. Alice (Karlye Shank) follows the always late White Rabbit (Olivia Marsh) and is introduced to an upside down world where nothing is what it seems. From odd tea parties with the Mad Hatter (Kamden Kuykendall), to precarious encounters with a smoking Caterpillar (Chris Marroquin) and of course a less-than-stellar introduction to the Queen of Hearts (Rachel Law), attendees at the play were treated to a new take on Lewis Carroll’s classic tale.
“Coming to this play, just to be honest here, I was kind of skeptical. Because “Alice in Wonderland” is such a different world and I wasn’t sure if it would translate to the big stage. I was pleasantly surprised that it does work so well. These kids really understand that they could have gone far off the rails, but they honed in on the message of the story and it worked out well,” Richard Donovan stated.
Richard Byrd can be reached via email at email@example.com.