Eisenhower goes down rabbit hole in ‘Alice’

By: Eric Czarnik | Shelby - Utica News | Published May 1, 2013

SHELBY TOWNSHIP — Eisenhower High School is hoping that its upcoming family-friendly show will make kids “curiouser and curiouser” about theater and the arts.

Three separate student casts will perform “Alice in Wonderland” May 7-9 at the high school.

After finishing a large, serious musical like “Les Misérables,” Eisenhower theater director David Springer said it was time for a play that could appeal to kids. He said students from Utica Community Schools’ elementary schools will be invited to see the show.

“It’s a great way to just share with the young people coming up (and) instill that love of theater in them,” Springer said.

Springer said this one-hour show condenses the 19th-century Lewis Carroll story. But like the original, the stage version is full of bright, crazy characters. The White Rabbit, the Mad Hatter’s tea party, Tweedledee and Tweedledum and more will get their turns in the spotlight.

Springer said the sophomore, junior and senior classes each have their own production of the show, with around 25-30 actors in each cast.

Eisenhower senior Graham Todd said this is the first time that he is involved as a student director. He said he helped arrange his cast’s blocking and collaborated with Springer for guidance. By working with his actors, Todd hopes that he has shown them how to enter their characters and what real theater is like.

“I’m really looking forward to seeing some of my actors who haven’t had a big chance to be leads in the past getting onstage and showing their true colors as brilliant actors and showing people what these actors can do,” he said.

Eisenhower senior Laura McRae is playing the role of the tyrannical Queen of Hearts. She said her cranky character is zealous in her desire to rain retribution on the thief who stole her tarts.

“She just likes to execute people, and she is completely over-the-top and ridiculous,” McRae said.

McRae said the character fits the profile of previous parts that she has played of strong women. However, this show is more magical than some of the more realistic stories she has helped present. 

Eisenhower High School, 6500 25 Mile Road, in Shelby Township will present “Alice in Wonderland” at 7 p.m. May 7-9. Admission is $5. Event proceeds will go to Springer’s Army Relay for Life team. Learn more at www.uticak12.org or at (586) 797-1000.