“Alice in Wonderland” an outstanding production

By Bill Schlichting, Pilot staff writer March 07, 2013 08:21 am

The King of Hearts (Patrick Dodgen) looks shocked when the Queen of Hearts (Evan Wise) yells her repeated line, “Off with her head” to Alice (Mariahn Seavello).
 

A newcomer to the stage, Mariahn Seavello, tackled a lead role in “Alice in Wonderland” and presented and outstanding performance on the Harbor Performing Arts Center stage.

In addition, young thespian Barbara Holmes demonstrated dramatic improvement in her directing abilities by devising ways to keep a play with 20 different sets moving and keeping the audience interested. 

Of course, the action couldn’t be nonstop without the coordination of stage manager Hailey Rogers leading a crew to make sure all the props were in the right place at the right time.

Also making this Brookings Harbor Community Theater production happen was sponsorship by Brookings residents Tom and Paula Broock, Holmes’ uncle and aunt. The couple sent a letter to the editor that describes the actors’ abilities well: “One piece of advice — don’t just watch the character who’s speaking, because all those on stage stay in character the whole time. We recommend this play even if you aren’t up to speed on the plot.”

In addition, the Broocks told the Pilot why they chose to sponsor the play.

“We’ve seen the evolution of this theater group over the seven years since and have come to more fully appreciate that, in addition to providing a showcase for some amazing talent, it also contributes in some very tangible ways to the growth of the young people of our community,” the Broocks said in an email. “We have found ourselves constantly impressed as we’ve watched some of these young people grow up in ways that are almost tiny miracles in front of our eyes.  The theater touches their lives in so many ways.”

“Alice in Wonderland” is filled with zany characters and talking animals in a colorful world created by Lewis Carroll that centers around young Alice (Seavello) as she follows a White Rabbit (Nicki Chirelli) that disappears down a nearby rabbit hole. Quickly following him, Alice tumbles into the burrow — and enters the merry, topsy-turvy world of Wonderland, according to a news release about the play.  Whimsical escapades highlight Alice’s journey, which culminates in a madcap encounter with the Queen of Hearts (Evan Wise) — and her army of playing cards.

Yes, a man plays the ugly queen, which is a nice touch.

Many cast members play several characters in the production. Included in the cast are Dilan Cuthbertson as Mad Hatter, Michaela George and Mikaela Lea as the Cheshire cat, Mariah Wise as the caterpillar, Steven Nagel as Humpty Dumpty, Ca’mare’a Freeman and Charis Abblitt as Tweedledee and Tweedledum, Patrick Dodgen as King of Hearts, Kristin Mitchell as the Red Queen, Brittney Lawson as White Queen, and Josiah Wise, Anastasia Hollingsworth, John Paul Chierichetti, Stephanie Birks, Dylan Panter, Matthew Raleigh, Shawna Lynn, Susie LeValley, Spencer Abblitt, rounding out the cast of unique characters in Wonderland.

One weekend remains for this production, which is suitable for all ages. Showtimes are 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, March 8 and 9, and 2 p.m. Sunday, March 10. Tickets are $10 for adults, $9 for seniors and $7 for students  and are available at Wright’s Custom Framing and Art Supplies in Brookings, New Wave Video in Harbor, and at the door. For information or reservations, call 541-469-4700. 

Harbor Performing Arts Center is  in the Brookings-Harbor Shopping Center, 97900 Shopping Center Ave.