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Divine Child Takes on Alice in Wonderland

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Noah Wisniewski, Staff Writer

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The Divine Child Theatre Program through the years has been known for producing the most uplifting and talented performances known to the Dearborn community. Through some popular performances such as Les Miserables, Phantom of the Opera, and even the Crucible, Divine Child Theatre as a whole has been very lucky with the success of their shows. For the Fall of 2016, Divine Child High School decided to put on the show written by Lewis Carroll of “Alice in Wonderland” and “Through the Looking Glass”. Participating in the theatre program for all 4 years of my High School career, no any show has been quite like this one. Not only were the costumes phenomenal, but the set, make-up effects, and acting were all perfectly carved. Even though the cast itself had an extremely strong bond, there was still one thing that didn’t quite flow properly-the plot. The story of Alice in Wonderland is known to most people for not really making any sense. Lewis Carroll the author was potentially known for being on drugs while writing this story, but was his intention really meant for the story to come out not making sense or was it just a figment of his imagination?

Lewis Carroll, creator of Alice in Wonderland, has been accused of drug abuse due to supernatural elements in the book. From the white rabbit to the queen of hearts, Carroll seems to have given his audience an insight to his imagination. Oddly enough, Carroll’s surreal imagination is a bizarre adventure that many find to be inconsistent. Viewers ponder on what Alice’s potion consisted of, since it had such a great affect to her mind. Many question if Carroll imagined it to be alcohol, or any other drug that has the ability to confuse one’s thoughts. Shockingly, Alice in Wonderland was dedicated to a 10-year old girl named Alice Liddell. The real Alice befriended Carroll as he was attending Oxford University. Based all on a vivid imagination, many parents were concerned with how much their children would understand. Many believe that Carroll’s abnormal hallucinations were not completely drug-free. However, 150 years after Alice’s’ release, Lewis Carroll’s relationship to drugs was found to be a misconception. Evidence is shown through old journals written by Carroll. With all of his writings, there’s no proof that he was taking any mind-altering drugs, although some disagree. All in all, Alice in Wonderland remains to be one of the most imaginative and mysterious creations the theater world has ever seen.

With the production of this show ending last week, we interviewed a few people who saw the show and wanted to give us their thoughts on the performance.

Play review from audience member Luke Hodorek:

“I watched the play last Thursday and I must say that I am impressed but not surprised because the Theatre Program always puts on a great show. It was a great pleasure to sit through the two acts of this play and watch the students reenact this classic story. The student actors filled the shoes of their characters well, gripping anyone watching and pulling them into the adventure. Behind the lively performances, you must give credit to the stage crew and the costume and makeup people who put this liveliness into the production and are the ones to thank for the visuals and the smooth transitions between scenes. Of course the whole play would not be possible if it weren’t for Mr. Bush providing as much direction as he did, turning the script into a unforgettable production. Despite this, this was one of the smaller performances that Divine Child puts on so as great as it was, it’s going to get bigger and better throughout the year and there will be a lot to expect from Hello Dolly. The musicals are the productions where the program gives its all. Despite its small scale, the play was a production to really see if you had the time I had to give it the sincere applause it deserved.”

Play review from audience member Nicole Kruszka:

“I saw Alice in Wonderland at Divine Child on Saturday night and was pleasantly surprised. I was looking forward to seeing this show for over a month because I knew a lot of actors in the play and Divine Child’s theatre program is outstanding. Even though I had no idea what was going on, the acting, makeup and costumes were outstanding. Some incredible actors in the play were Emma Patrick, Noah Wisniewski, Anna Crandall, Nina Wnuk, and Tai Robinson. Alice, played by Emma, had over 400 lines and was in every scene. Emma is incredibly talented as an actress and I have no idea how she memorized all of those lines while taking AP classes and being involved in many activities. She amazed me. Noah played Dodgson, the Dodo and the White Knight and he had me cracking up as the Dodo and was incredible as Dodgson with his sophisticated voice. Anna was FANTASTIC as the Queen of Hearts. Her strong voice and brilliant facial expressions had me laughing out loud and wishing for more. She is definitely going places. Nina was the actor who surprised me the most, playing the sassy caterpillar. Her smoking was a hilarious add-on and made her character even better. Her caterpillar tail was huge and sparkly. Everything about that character was spot on. And last but not least, Tai played the carpenter. I loved the projection of her voice and felt like she really prepared nicely for this character. All of my friends did an amazing job and I can’t wait to see them become professionals in the future.

Now, let me talk about the costumes, makeup, and sets, because that was possibly the most intriguing part. The costumes were glittery and from all different spectrums of the rainbow. I can’t even imagine how much time and money were spent on them. The Red Queen’s costume was a bright red dress, with black and red stockings, and a glittery corset. Tweedledee and Tweedledum were colorful leotards with red stockings and short red wigs. The White Queen wore a long white wig, a gorgeous sequined silver dress. The Oyster costumes had to be my absolute favorite though. They wore light blue tutus, a long white leotard and a blue ball headpiece. And lastly, the Caterpillar’s costume with the giant caterpillar tail was the funniest.

Onto the makeup! I have to give Melissa Hutchinson, the makeup director, the most credit because her mind is crazy talented and I have no idea how she mastered this. Also, students helped out with the makeup and did a fantastic job. The Oysters had glittery blue lips, the Queen of Hearts had a white painted face and blazing red lipstick, and the caterpillar had sparkly eyelids and lips. The White Queen, played by Aria Hutchinson, had white lipstick as well as WHITE EYELASHES. Also, I liked how they kept Alice’s makeup subtle and sweet, just like she is.

The sets were astonishing. The backdrop of the mushrooms and the “Wonderland” were hand painted and of beautiful colors. The giant chairs added to the effect that Alice was supposed to be 3 inches tall. The checkerboard was also very cool. The flowers, colors, and everything in between kept my eyes glued to the stage. I have to give credit to Mr. Bush’s Intro to Theatre classes for their painting and Mr. Grysko for his incredible hands at painting and his artwork.

Overall, this play was 10/10 would definitely recommend. Everyone should get a chance to see how amazing this theatre program is (especially in the upcoming performance of Hello Dolly). The directors Mrs. Noeske, Ms. Fraser, Mr. Bush and Mr. Grysko never fail to put on a great show for all of us especially because they know what they are doing.

Being in the show myself, I got a lot of opinions from audience members on their thoughts on the show. Some people thought it was good, some thought it was bad, and most people thought it didn’t make sense. It is Alice in Wonderland, it’s not supposed to make sense! The show overall had one of the biggest crowds we have gotten for the fall play and it was the perfect way to end my senior year with an upbeat and exciting performance.

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Divine Child Takes on Alice in Wonderland