Fall 2012

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland is written by the English author and mathematician Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, who used a pseudonym Lewis Carroll. The book is commonly referred to by the abbreviated title Alice in Wonderland. It has become one of the most famous children's books of all time, one that appeals to children as well as adults. The story tells what happens to a girl named Alice who falls down a rabbit-hole into a fantasy world which is populated by peculiar imaginary creatures and objects that come alive and have a personality, like talking playing cards.

"Alice was published in 1865, three years after the Reverend Charles Lutwidge Dodgson and the Reverend Robinson Duckworth rowed in a boat, on 4 July 1862 with the three young daughters of Henry Liddell (the Vice-Chancellor of Oxford University): Lorina (aged 13, born 1849); Alice (aged 10, born 1852) and Edith Liddell (aged 8, born 1853). The journey began at Folly Bridge near Oxford, England and ended five miles away. During the trip, the Reverend Dodgson told the girls a story that featured a bored little girl named Alice who goes looking for an adventure. The girls loved it, and Alice Liddell asked Dodgson to write it down for her. He began writing the manuscript of the story the next day, although that earliest version no longer exists. The girls and Dodgson took another boat trip a month later when he elaborated the plot to the story of Alice, and in November he began working on the manuscript in earnest. To add the finishing touches he researched, and then had the book examined by other children. He added his own illustrations but approached John Tenniel to illustrate the book for publication, telling him that the story had been well liked by children.  Tenniel took the job, and that of the sequel because he loved drawing the animals. On 26 November 1864, Dodgson gave Alice the handwritten manuscript of Alice's Adventures Under Ground.  But before Alice received her copy, Dodgson was already preparing it for publication and expanding the 15,500-word original to 27,500 words, most notably adding the episodes about the Cheshire Cat and the Mad Tea-Party. 

Once it was ready, Dodgson published it, using the pen name "Lewis Carroll" (he often denied being the author afterward). The entire first print run sold out quickly. Alice was a publishing sensation, beloved by children and adults alike. Among its first avid readers were Queen Victoria and the young Oscar Wilde. The book has never been out of print. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland has been translated into at least 97 languages. There have now been over a hundred editions of the book, as well as countless adaptations in other media, especially theater and film."

 

  The book is commonly referred to by the abbreviated title Alice in Wonderland, an alternative title popularized by the numerous stage, film and television adaptations of the story produced over the years. As the book and its sequel are Carroll's most widely recognized works, they have also inspired numerous live performances, including plays, operas, ballets, and traditional English pantomimes.  In film, the story has also been popular with film versions ranging from three silent films (the first in 1903) to the Disney animated Alice in Wonderland  and others.  In 2010, Tim Burton directed a movie that functioned as a sort of sequel to the first Alice—in it Alice Kingsley is grown up and about to be betrothed to the son of her father’s business partner when she too falls down the rabbit hole into Underland (the original story name was Alice’s Adventures Under Ground). She spends most of the story denying that the place is even real, until she defends her friends against the Queen and her Jabberwocky and meets her destiny.

 

Our 2012 production featured a script by independent author Jeannette Jaquish, and it closely followed the original book.  We inserted a scene with Tweedledee and Tweedledum from the sequel Through the Looking Glass because of their appearance in the beloved Disney cartoon, and because we have really funny costumes for them!  Our set is inspired by an outdoor theater’s approach from back East—the crazy patterns and uneven lines match up with the unpredictability of Wonderland itself.  

Note: the above poster was from SubPlot Studio (www.subplotstudio.com) and the script can be found at Funantics Theater (www.angelfire.com/scifi/theaterscripts).

 

 

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 Spring 2013

The Cat in the Hat, Horton the Elephant, The Grinch...sound familiar?  Of course they do!  This show was full of all those wonderful characters from the world of Dr. Seuss including Horton the Elephant, The Cat in the Hat, Gertrude McFuzz, lazy Mayzie, and a little boy with a big imagination--Jojo. The colorful characters transport us from the Jungle of Nool to the Circus McGurkus to the invisible world of the Whos.

The Cat in the Hat tells the story of Horton, an elephant who discovers a speck of dust containing Whos, including Jojo, a Who child sent off to military school for thinking too many "thinks." Horton faces a double challenge--not only must he protect the Whos from a world of naysayers and dangers, but he must guard an abandoned egg, left to his care by the irresponsible Mayzie La Bird. Although Horton faces ridicule, danger, kidnapping, and a trial, the intrepid Gertrude McFuzz never loses faith in him. Ultimately, the powers of friendship, loyalty, family, and community are challenged and emerge triumphant.

 

This was the first year the ZCSTC participated in the 5th Avenue Theater High School Musical Theater Awards, and we garnered three Honorable Mentions, and five nominations, of which we won two categories: Best Costuming and Best Ensemble!

 Seussical is licensed with Music Theatre International  www.mtishows.com

The poster was from Box Office Pop (www.boxofficepop.com)

 

 

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