2017-11-02 / Front Page

‘Alice in Wonderland’ to be presented with a twist

BY TANYA TERRY
810- 452- 2645 tterry@mihomepaper.com


Students from Bentley High School and Bentley Middle School are preparing diligently for their production of “Alice in Wonderland.” Here, a mob attacks Alice. 
Photos by Tanya Terry Students from Bentley High School and Bentley Middle School are preparing diligently for their production of “Alice in Wonderland.” Here, a mob attacks Alice. Photos by Tanya Terry BURTON — “Alice in Wonderland” will be performed by students from Bentley High School and Bentley Middle school, in a new way—with a storybook theme, which is intended to make the show more lighthearted and silly than the film.

“The students are presenting this show as if they are the characters from the storybook,” said Bentley theatre director, Hope Ash.

“They will make their portrayals larger than life and over the top, which should make the show very entertaining for all ages,” Ash added.

Ash said a goal for this year was to expand the theatre program and for students to test themselves with tougher shows, and the students worked hard and stepped it up to meet the challenge.


Alice encounters Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum for the first time. (Left to right) Brooklyn Warnke as Tweedle Dee, Madison Andrews as Tweedle Dum and Layla Panoussi as Alice. Alice encounters Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum for the first time. (Left to right) Brooklyn Warnke as Tweedle Dee, Madison Andrews as Tweedle Dum and Layla Panoussi as Alice. The show follows young Alice's journey through Wonderland. Along the way, she meets a wild cast of characters who each have something to teach her. Throughout her journey she learns to appreciate home, and to lighten up and enjoy herself more.

“This play is based more on the original novel than the film versions,” Ash said. “So, there are several characters and scenes in the show that are not in the film.”

Ash said the scenery and the lighting were some of the biggest challenges for this show.

“We are using a combination of really simple mechanics and some pretty tricky lighting effects to create the look that we want,” she said.

Ash said she thinks “Alice in Wonderland” has been a favorite for so long because it is one of those feel good type of stories that has a such an interesting cast of characters and fantastic events that it is hard to look away. She also said she thinks people can relate to “Alice and Wonderland,” and she hopes the students’ over the top storybook portrayals will take audiences back to their own childhoods.

“All of the students have been working hard to memorize lines, develop characters, and even design costumes and set pieces,” Ash said. “It has been great having a cast with both middle school and high school students because the high school students have really stepped up and started mentoring the younger ones and helping them with their acting skills and character development. “

Ash said the theatre program has received great support from both the staff and the community at all of their shows so far this season.

“It is so great to look out into a full audience, and that's why the students do what they do,” she said. “At our first dinner theater this year, we sold out two of our three shows. It really helped to build up the student energy on stage. “

Some of the cast are more seasoned actors and actresses, such as Breanna Gorman, who will play the Queen of Hearts, and will be in her tenth play at Bentley.

“I like being a mad person that always wants people’s heads cut off,” Gorman said.

Others are new to the stage, such as Layla Panoussi, who will play Alice.

“I look like a seven-and-a-half-yearold, like Alice,” Panoussi said.

The show will be perfomed 7:30 p.m. Nov. 17 and at 2:30 and 7:30 p.m. Nov. 18, in the Bentley Middle School cafeteria. Tickets will be available at the door as supplies last, or in advance by emailing hash@bentleyschools.org.

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