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SRSS headed to Wonderland

By: Grant Burr

Posted: 12/1/2014 1:03 PM

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The Mad Hatter’s tea party will come alive Dec. 4,5 and 6 as SRSS students unveil their adaptation of the Lewis Carroll classic, Alice in Wonderland.

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The Mad Hatter’s tea party will come alive Dec. 4,5 and 6 as SRSS students unveil their adaptation of the Lewis Carroll classic, Alice in Wonderland.

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Lewis Carroll, a literary mastermind of the Victorian era, would likely be very pleased with the world that has been created by students at the Steinbach Regional Secondary School.

It’s an adaptation of Carroll’s best known work, Alice in Wonderland, with a unique twist rooted in Victorian era itself. This Alice isn’t quite in Wonderland but rather at Wonderland.

Alice @ Wonderland arrives this week (Dec. 4,5, and 6 at 7 p.m.) at the SRSS theatre.

Director Megan Turnley says this a production that students have really embraced, even more so than others she has tackled going into her third year taking on directing responsibilities for the SRSS show.

"Absolutely everything," says Turnley, when asked what has excited her most about the process of creating the Alice homage.

"People have really stepped up and wanted to work on this play," she said.

The SRSS teacher attributes the show’s popularity to a strong childhood connection that many feel towards the familiar story.

"I was a huge reader," says Turnley, recalling her own childhood. "It was one of the many books that I loved."

The SRSS production will put a unique twist on the play, embracing a "steampunk" style in the show’s presentation. Steampunk is genre of science fiction, which involves the use of today’s advanced technology through the use of steam, all against a background of the 19th century.

Hence the fact you will spot Alice herself sporting a cell phone, a decision which Caity Kauenhofen admits left her feeling a bit apprehensive. The Grade 12 student was happy to land the play’s title role in auditions held just as the school year got underway.

"It’s a bit of an upgrade," she jokes, after playing "dude with no lines" in last year’s Brigadoon.

Though the idea of Alice with a cell phone was different, Kauenhofen says the finished product has exceeded her expectations and has already been a rewarding experience for her playing the favorite character.

"This story has been such a big part of my life…I really wanted to do her justice," she said.

Turnley says the show’s take on the classic tale has also allowed different departments to get involved in new ways. She notes they have had the support of the school’s welding program and aesthetics department to shape the look of the show.

Students from the welding department have fashioned an assortment of metallic props to support the show’s steampunk theme, including exposed gears, an open clock, and huge flashlights.

Tickets for the show are available at the school for $10.

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