Wonderful World: Guild gearing up for ‘Alice’

Performances for the Theatre Guild’s production of “Alice in Wonderland” are June 14, 15, 21 and 22 at 7 p.m. and June 16 and 23 at 2 p.m. with all performances at the auditorium at the Morristown VFW post.

The Theatre Guild is starting the Summer season with a fast-paced adventure in Wonderland, led by a young girl named Alice who has an unforgettable journey on golden afternoon.

“Alice in Wonderland” is a classic story which has been adapted countless times for the theatre, for movies and is a powerful influence on language. For instance, the unexpected and most likely bizarre is about to happen when someone says they are “going down a rabbit hole.” Or when someone says you are “grinning like a Cheshire cat,” the nature of mystery and the unknown is looming large.

For 2019, the Guild is presenting well-known stories to tell onstage, so the adventures of Alice was selected for its boundless imagination and wild characters. First published in 1865 by Lewis Carroll when he crafted the story as an entertainment for children, the story is a satire on adulthood, on logic, on manners and society and expectations.

“The story is a celebration of nonsense,” says director Joe Powell, who is leading a large cast of performers from ages 13 to 60 and more. “Telling this tale is a real challenge on almost every level – staging, costuming, special effects. And in many ways it’s a sort of Theatre of the Absurd, with scenes very much like Samuel Beckett’s ‘Waiting for Godot.’ And audiences don’t usually flock to absurdity, but Alice is so well known, they are usually eager to go along.”

“Our approach to staging the show was to keep with traditions of the story in many ways, and to stage it as if the audience was opening giant children’s book full of bright artwork and even pop-up style design. We are most fortunate to have our scenic artist, Dee Triplett and our production crew shaping that world,” he said.

Performances are June 14, 15, 21 and 22 at 7 p.m. and June 16 and 23 at 2 p.m. with all performances at the auditorium at the Morristown VFW post. Tickets are available at the Guild’s website theatreguildinc.org and by calling 423-586-9260.