Edison students 'embracing their characters' for 'Alice in Wonderland'

Cary Ashby • Updated Feb 28, 2018 at 5:03 PM

MILAN — The Queen has accused the Knave of stealing her tarts.

“He has denied it,” said Edison High School senior Vernon Kluding, who plays the Knave in “Alice in Wonderland.” “He likes to think of himself as a knight. He tries to act like a knight, but he’s really not; he’s cowardly.”

Having been in 10 musicals in eight years, Kluding said the experiences have helped him with public speaking, but he noticed he has become “really confident over the the recent year.”

“Mr. (Rex) Stanforth even commented how loud I sing and much my voice carries,” added the son of Matt and Tara. 

The Edison High School Drama Club will present “Alice in Wonderland” from March 8 through 11. Directed by Stanforth, the musical features 40 cast and crew members, music and lyrics by Beatrice Wolf and book and lyrics by Sally Netzel. 

For the Edison production, Jann Glann is the music director and math teacher Amy Cull is the technical director. Junior Megan Marley, the stage manager, is making the costume to be worn by the Dormouse (sophomore Sarah Bursley). 

“It starts and ends with Alice’s sister,” said Stanforth, referring to the role played by freshman Noelle Marcy. “It doesn’t just jump into Wonderland.”

The story follows Alice (junior Allison Pennell) as she ventures through Wonderland in hopes of remembering her true identity.

“She is very inquistive about all her surroundings (that) she finds in Wonderland. She tries to discover who she is,” said Pennell, the 16-year-old daughter of Robert and Lora.

The Berlin Heights teenager was asked if there are any similarities with the character she plays.

“We both want to know more about the world around us,” said Pennell, who has been challenged to use the body language of an 8-year-old girl.

Freshman Mikayla Myers plays the Dodo, a bird that Alice meets in Wonderland.

“The bird shows her she really isn’t alone in Wonderland,” said Myers, the 15-year-old daughter of Mark and Chelsea. “The birds are trying to be her friend. At this point, she (Alice) thinks she’s all alone and we’re trying to convince her she’s not.”

This is the first time Myers has been in a play. She said she has received a lot of support from her friends in band who also are in the musical.

“Alice in Wonderland” is the fourth production by the drama club this school year. Rehearsals started at the end of January.

“It has a good cast size. It has great opportunities for creative input from the cast,” said Stanforth, who is in his 46th year of directing and is seeing the cast “embracing their characters.”

There is a small ensemble that will accompany the cast. The musicians include pianist Sarah McCoy, bassist Michael Smith and junior Jackson DeVaut on drums.

“Allison is making the costume for the Mad Hatter (Evan Hoffman),” Stanforth said.

Penney is planning on submitting it in the costume construction competition at the state thespian conference.

“This is the third year she has entered the contest. She has won the best in state for her freshman and sophomore years,” Stanforth said.

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