Alice must decide whether or not to grow up

First Posted: 4/14/2014

Alice has to decide whether or not she wants to grow up and join the real world in “Wonderland” which features an array of musical styles, from hip hop and reggae to country and pop.

Utilizing new technology for the performance, students in the Lake-Lehman Theater Club will present “Wonderland,” a modern adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” and “Through the Looking Glass,” on Saturday, April 26 and Sunday, April 27.

“We are using a white cyclorama for the performance, so all the sets are going to be digitally projected from behind the stage,” said Director Gina Major. “There are very few physical sets in this show.”

Many of the student stars said the music is what drew them into the show. “When I first heard the music, I just wanted to get up and dance,” said 14-year-old Courtney Richards, of Dallas.

Richards plays the role of the White Queen, who acts like a mother figure to Alice as she journeys through the trials and tribulations of growing up.

“(The White Queen) encourages Alice and tries to get her to the eighth square,” said Richards. During the show, Alice must get to certain “squares,” or goals, as she navigates her way toward adulthood.

Even the student actors are taking new paths in this year’s production.

Ron Ziomek, 17, of Dallas, is the student music director of this spring’s musical. For someone who has spent plenty of time under the stage lights, he now has a great appreciation for the sometimes less appreciated behind-the-scenes work.

“Before rehearsals, I helped the cast learn all the music and we worked on the harmonies,” said Ziomek. “It was interesting because of all the different genres of music.”

His experience as an actor gave him insight as to how to help the cast in this year’s show.

“(Working offstage) is a decision I made because I wanted to take a break from acting and learn more about the technical aspects of theater,” he said. “It’s been nice watching the cast come together.”

And the cast has come together both on and off the stage. Tristen Cotter, 14, of Shavertown, recently moved to the area from Michigan and said being a part of theater has helped her transition to Lake-Lehman.

“I came here and now I have so many friends. I like to sing and dance but I never tried to do anything with it until I came here,” said Cotter. “These are the years I’m going to remember.”

Paige Robbins, 15, of Shickshinny, finds that rehearsals give her an emotional release, and it’s her favorite part of the day.

“Sometimes I come in here feeling upset, but then my day gets instantly better,” she said. “I love these people.”

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