Alice In Wonderland: A Look Back

Purple Cat Productions has done it again!

The productions crew lit up the stage August 21st and 22nd with their own rendition of Alice in Wonderland. Director Amy Rigby’s love for both the original version produced by Disney in 1951, and the modern day magical fantasy flick produced by Tim Burton, was the inspiration for this year’s show. By combining elements of the past and present, with the unique personalities and artistic skills of the staff and clients of our production crew, the characters recreated an Alice in Wonderland all of their own! Ms. Rigby rewrote the scenes throughout the story to accommodate the inability to alter the size of Alice (because that’s simply not possible!), which allowed for the illusion of her remaining 3 inches tall upon entering Wonderland.

Excitement was heightened this year by scenes that took place in front of the curtain, which highlighted the courage and talents of the main character Alice, played by Kayla Hamm, as she was the only focal point of some scenes. Chassidy Roth also made a memorable onstage debut in front of the curtain, with a solo encounter with Alice, as the Cheshire Cat!

Other characters made their entrance from the audience, and others exited into the audience. This also allowed for a startling, but immensely comical, introduction (and exit) of White Rabbit to the setting, played by Laurie Wilson. After their remarkable and charming synchronized performance, Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum, played by Mike Kawecki and Kristen Seidler, made their exit into the audience. Among other returning actors, March Hare (Eric Trebus) and Mad Hatter (Mark Castro) worked brilliantly together to make the “mad tea party” scene memorable, and Tim Johnson was highly entertaining as the Caterpillar, puffing on his cigar. Lauren West, who played “Dorothy” in our first onstage production-the “Wizard of Oz”, did wonderful again as the Rose in this year’s play. As expected, Russell “Radar” Pavlov demonstrated his acting and singing skills as the Dodo bird, and Scotty Leishman warmed the hearts of all the audience, as the King of Hearts.

Ms. Rigby selected the characters for the play carefully, as it gave those that are shy, but eager, the opportunity to perform in a group setting onstage. Of those carefully selected were the flowers, which included Samantha McQue as Daisy, Claudia Cadwallader as Light Blue Flower, Christine Slabe as Orange Flower, Lori Williams as Violet, and Melissa Roller as Sunflower. Props to Stacy Woods as Blue Flower and Jenna Magazine as Pink Flower, who made their acting debut this year! The Goldfish, played by Jami Crook, was a new character added to the story for a unique touch. Jami had the crowd roaring with laughter, which complemented the entertaining roles of the Pufferfish (Richard Stanton), the Lobster (Gaye Weatherall), and the Blue Bird (Pauline Zuccaro). The Card characters were also chosen in a similar manner. In a single filing fashion, Matt Fertig (Ace Card), Bryan Apgar (Card Painter #2), Danny Kerr (Card Painter #3), and Card Guards Michael Cauldron, Josh Shaffer, Derrik Rex, and the infamous ISLE director Jimmy Sutman, paraded onto stage from behind the scenes. Aside from Derrik’s appearance in the “Wizard of Oz”, all of our Card Guards made their first onstage appearance this year- including Jimmy Sutman! Other stellar debuts included Niki Taub as the Door Mouse, and Lonnie Morris as the Parrot. Above all, Ashley Harris stole the show with her dynamic performance as the Queen of Hearts.

The staff and stars of the production crew has spent the entire year designing sets, making costumes, creating props and rehearsing their lines in preparation for our 3rd annual Purple Cat play. Much praise and thanks to our actors and actresses, and to all of those that donated their time, efforts, material items and ideas to the crew at Southwoods to make this all possible. All parties involved have shown us what creativity and dedication can create, and helps make us aware of talents that can surface- or even develop- with a little help from our friends 🙂 Also, a special thanks to the Crook family for donating the awesome cake (shown in the pictures). It’s a success for the 3rd year now! We all look forward to what’s in store for next year’s hit performance!

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