Students have been working since the fall on the production based on the 1951 Disney movie as well as the novels “The Adventures of Alice in Wonderland” and “Through the Looking Glass,” both by Lewis Carroll. They will bring to life characters such as the Queen of Hearts, the White Rabbit, Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum, and, of course, Alice, to the delight of elementary school students, Gentry Middle students and the general public.
For some members of this year’s cast, Alice in Wonderland will mark their last production with the group. These students will be heading to high school next year.
Rachel Hull, who plays the main Alice in this year’s production, has participated in drama all three years she has been in middle school. But, she believes this year’s show will be her favorite.
“I have a big part this year. It’s a big responsibility,” said the eighth grader, who recently suffered a softball accident when she was hit in the head by a line drive. “I’ve never been nervous, but ever since the accident I’ve been getting more nervous. I’m scared I’m going to forget my lines.
“The action in this one is very good. There are many underlying jokes that I think some people will get.”
Elijah Bryant is also excited about this year’s show, which will mark his final performance on the Gentry Middle stage. Bryant will play the caterpillar in the production.
“I haven’t really had a lead part in the past. I think it’s going to be really fun,” he said.
Eighth Grader Sydney Atkins, who will play Hull’s counterpart small Alice, is also excited about this year’s production.
“In the other two all I did was sing and in this one I have lines. It’s more stressful to have a song than lines because it’s easier to mess up,” she said. “Alice in Wonderland the story is kind of weird so I think people will just enjoy seeing how it all comes together at the end.”
For the students, being in drama club has meant sacrificing other activities. Some of them have given up spring sports to work on the production almost every day after school. Others have kept up with sports but have seen their playing time diminish because they have missed practices. Atkins, who plays traveling volleyball and basketball, said being in a production is difficult sometimes because of the time commitment and the sacrifices it requires but “it’s worth it.”
Students will take the show on the road so to speak as they perform for Cedar Ridge and White Plains Elementary students next week, both of which are feeder schools for Gentry Middle. It will give the younger students an opportunity to see what options they have when they get to middle school.
“I think the younger kids are more fun to perform for because they can do it when they get to Gentry,” said Bryant. “Their reactions are better, but they don’t get some of the jokes.”
“They should try out because I wanted to be in it when I was in fifth grade. I didn’t think I would make it but I did,” said Tucker of advice she would give to rising sixth graders. “It is a lot of work but it’s worth it.”
They will also get an opportunity to perform in front of their peers during a school day next week.
The students enjoy the opportunities drama club provides for them. They like being on stage and performing as well as the chance to be someone different.
“You get to be somebody you’re not. It feels good when you’re on stage — it’s a feeling you can’t recreate,” said Hull.
“When I’m having a bad day and I think I have drama practice in the afternoon it makes things better,” said Bryant.
The students will perform in front of a sold-out crowd of family and friends at the Andy Griffith Playhouse April 19. While tickets to that show have already been sold, students will also perform for the public during an evening dessert theater March 29 at 6 p.m. at the school. Anyone interested in purchasing tickets for this show should contact the school at 786-4155.
Contact Morgan Wall at firstname.lastname@example.org or 719-1929.