MOUNT VERNON — MTVarts and the Youth Workshop bring to life Lewis Carroll’s famous novel with a cast of zany characters in the delightful adaptation of the classic Disney film “Alice in Wonderland.” Travel down the rabbit hole and join Alice, one of literature’s most beloved heroines, in her madcap adventures. Featuring updated songs from Disney’s thrilling animated motion picture, “Alice in Wonderland Jr.” is a fast-paced, 70 minute take on the classic tale. This theatrical production is the perfect introduction for the youngest theater audience.
The all youth cast of 65 actors and technicians have completed the intensive (five day) workshop and are now into full rehearsal mode, learning choreography, music and acting. This is the third season that the MTVarts summer youth workshop has been in operation. The ArtsIQ (Innovation and Quality) production was developed for the youth in Knox County and surrounding area. “Little Mermaid” and “Aladdin” preceded “Alice in Wonderland” and each September all Knox County school children in grades kindergarten through second grade attend a morning matinee.
Artistic director Bruce Jacklin believes that the workshops are a twofold benefit to the youth in the county.
“Our young performers are given the opportunity to experience the full process of a production from an actor’s perspective,” Jacklin said. “The workshop students are taught techniques and the skills for performing and our young audience members are enjoying the benefits of a live performance. Five- to seven year olds are exposed to theater etiquette while focusing their attention span and connecting theater to literature.”
Janis Stone, business director and co-founder of MTVarts, believes that the opportunities youth theater provides are a crucial element to a thriving community.
“Young families want their children engaged with creative and physical activities,” Stone said. “Theater is another option for their children to explore without traveling out of town. We are very fortunate to have several theater organizations in Mount Vernon that offer our youth a chance to be involved. MTVarts is grateful to be a part of the growing theater community.”
The cast of characters are Alice: Veronica Morgan; Small Alice: Rylee Jarosz; Cheshire Cats: Peyton Hauenstein-Cline, JJ House, Chloe Skillman; White Rabbit: Lacey Blubaugh; Tweedle Dee: Megan Campbell; Tweedle Dum: Kennedy Aikey; Mathilda: Maya McDonald; Flowers: Elle Pavao, Isabel McDonald, Mia Trace, Destany Stoneburner, Ella Ackert; Caterpillar: Luna Moreland; Mad Hatter: Thor Fox; March Hare: Mark Fongheiser; Queen of Hearts: Fredi Bockover; and King of Hearts: Ethan McDonald.
Ensemble chorus includes: Brianna Small, Kalyn Zak, Lance Jones, Brendan Williams, Hailey Davis, Stella Kauffman, Emma Cheek, Anna Dinnen, Isabella Fontaine, Makayla Harris, Rebekah Lebold, Esme McDonald, Hunter Harris, Alex Jarosz, Miranda Karlovetz, Julia Manning, Hannah Blubaugh, Julia Davis, Henry Freeman, Gabrielle Fuller, Lily Rheinscheld, Halle Smith, Marissa Sweeney, Carly Tracey, Kieran Karlovetz, Johnny Manning, Laura Page, Zane Jones, Taryn Waugh, Samantha Webb, Addison Ellison, Rachel Furr, Kaitlyn Hall, Bethany McClain, Paris Frazee, Allison Page, Grace Zoldak, Dance Ballmer, Will Stemen, Autumn Laymon, Grace Laymon, Molly Roberts, and Olivia Roberts.
Offering their talents behind the scenes are Kyle Boucher, Damien Griswold, Hayden Lee, Luke McClain, Sarah Misarti, Colin Roberts and Mackenzie Smith.
Lewis Carroll’s famous heroine comes to life in this adaptation of the classic Disney film. Public show dates are Sept. 23 and 24 at 7:30 p.m. and Sept. 25 at 2 p.m. at the Memorial Theater. Tickets are available at MTVarts.com or at First-Knox National Bank.