The Wilcox Stage Company is taking a trip down the rabbit hole with its spring production of Alice in Wonderland.
“We chose Alice in Wonderland because our current Cheshire Cat, Kyle Plottel, a senior, was pushing for it when we were choosing the spring show and I really liked the idea,” says junior Marisa Whitmore, who co-directs the play with senior Dylan Moore. “It was a nice contrast to the more serious, less fantasy-like shows we’ve been doing recently.”
To make this version of Alice a little different, the directors chose to put a steampunk spin on the classic Lewis Carroll tale, with costumes that have flair and include corsets, top hats and other Victorian-inspired designs. Additionally, cogs (often associated with steampunk) can be found throughout – from the scroll the White Rabbit (freshman Hagen Hildebrandt) reads during Alice’s (sophomore Emma Partridge) trial, to side of the Mad Hatter’s (junior Aidan Turner) teacup.
“The steampunk vibe was something we came up with as a production staff to try to give the show a different twist, not your average Alice story that everyone is used to,” says Whitmore. “I particularly like the style of steampunk and we pulled part of the idea from when we did Shakespeare’s ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ about three years ago in a steampunk style.”
Overall, the first weekend of performances went well, with Partridge’s portrayal of the girl who goes through the looking glass hitting a high note, and Turner, who always plays the most eccentric WSC roles, adding mannerisms and facial expressions that truly capture the Mad Hatter’s strangeness.
The entirely student-run WSC is overseeing the production of Alice in Wonderland from beginning to end, with students choosing the costumes, doing the makeup, designing the sets, and serving on the technical crew.
In addition to Whitmore and Moore, the crew includes sophomore Chole Schweizer as stage manager, junior Cole Hildebrandt as technical director, junior Michael Stephenson as set designer, freshman Gabriella Clark as assistant stage manager and “props mistress,” freshman Robert Goodman as assistant technical director, and junior Ryan Hubbard as lighting designer.
“Our cast, crew and student production staff has been working extremely hard for this show,” says Whitmore, “and I’m really proud of all of us … We have a really diverse group of people and it’s really nice to see all the different types of people working together to make this show great.”
Alice in Wonderland can be seen May 16 and 17 at 7 p.m. at the Mission City Center for Performing Arts, 3250 Monroe St., Santa Clara, 95051. Tickets are $6 for students and $10 for adults and can be purchased at the Wilcox box office on the night of the show.