Sooke Harbour Players – Next Destination, Wonderland!
Sooke Harbour Players has enjoyed a year of accomplishment and elevated theatre standards. With the success of Pirates of Penzance and dinner theatre performances that included Wake me when I’m Dead and Fawlty Towers 2, our community theatre company is taking things into a completely new direction with Disney’s Junior version of Alice in Wonderland.
The Sooke community has been buzzing with anticipation with this planned fall production for several reasons. First, it’s Disney. Who doesn’t like Disney? Second, it is an entirely junior cast, allowing our children to dominate the stage and cultivate their interest in dramatic arts. How can you resist children performing on stage, singing and dancing with colourful costumes? Finally, the production team is a group of seasoned, talented members of the community with an impressive history of musical and theatre experience.
The story line is based on the original 1951 Disney classic, featuring a young girl who would rather day dream than listen to her sister’s scolding; this eventually leads to Alice being completely immersed into a colourful fantasy land that features a Cheshire cat, Mad Hatter, an evil Queen of Hearts and a terribly panicked White Rabbit, to name a few of these interesting and fun characters.
Alice will be played by three girls;
Tall Alice – Nona Robertson
Med Alice – Naomi Yaruda
Small Alice – Caitlin Thompson
Alison Arsenault originally got things going while working as the stage manager for Pirates of Penzance; she approached the board with a detailed synopsis of Alice and why the show should be next for Sooke. After drafting a sound, cohesive proposal, she received approval, and the rest is history! The production team features artistic director Johanne Thompson who has been involved in theatre since she was 10 years old.
“I really want this to be a great experience for the kids” she stated after being asked why she agreed to take on such a challenging role.
Johanne works seamlessly with Sarah Wilson, who is both musically brilliant and shows remarkable skill when instructing the children and basic choreography requirements. Marian Schols, an accomplished vocalist, has provided excellent support with the instruction and supplementary guidance to the musical director. Marian also contributed to the actual selection of the cast during the auditions. Fran Nemeth has stepped forward as stage manager with the assistance of John Mason. John is also a new director on the Sooke Harbour Players board.
Something completely new in concept with this production is the format of rehearsals, actually commencing Mid July. This is far from the normal two-month rehearsal timeline (September to November) decided by Johanne and Alison. When asked about this deviation from the norm, Johanne responded, “We are working with a very young company; to truly enjoy the magic of being on stage, they will need more time to prepare and be comfortable with the material.”
Despite the brilliance and talent within the production team, there is still the never-ending challenge of recruiting volunteers and attaining sponsorships. If you are interested in assisting with costumes, sets, make-up, tech support or wish to advertise your business in the show program, contact Alison Arsenault at : firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show dates are November 2 – 4, 9 – 10 and 16 – 18.
Contributed by Joe Scheubel
Sooke Harbour Players