Rehearsals are underway for the Delaware Hayes Thespians’ production of “Alice in Wonderland,” and the cast and crew said Wednesday they are excited to perform in front of an audience when the show opens at the end of the month.
Kelsey Wright, an English teacher at Hayes, is directing the production of Lewis Carroll’s classic adventure story. The production will be her first at the school as a director.
“I really love the theater department here, the staff, and the students involved (in productions),” Wright said. “It seemed like something that might be fun. Our main object was to do a show that was well known to get community members excited about theater again and also to choose a show that had a large cast and crew to get as many kids back involved in theater as we could after we took our two-year live show hiatus.”
Wright said her background as an English teacher helped her choose “Alice in Wonderland,” and she’s excited to see the students portray the zany characters.
“It was one of the shows that we can work on character development and let the students come into the character on their own,” Wright said. “We figured it would be the most fun.”
Rehearsals began last month in small scene-specific groups, but the entire cast will rehearse together until the performances at 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 22 and 23.
Wright said she can’t wait for the show to open.
“I’m excited to see an audience back in our seats and see the kids doing what they love in front of that live audience,” she said.
Senior Kaya Ferrell, who plays Alice in the show, said she’s enjoyed rehearsing for the production and spending time with the cast.
“(Rehearsals have been) great,” Ferrell said. “It’s really fun to be back with all the people I used to do theater with. All my best friends are here. Felt like coming back home a little bit.”
Ferrell said she’s looking forward to performing and hopes the show makes the audience laugh since “(laughs) have been hard to come by.”
“I’m excited to perform in front of a live audience for once,” she said. “Come see the show!”
Jake Stein, a fellow senior who plays the Mad Hatter in the show, said he’s excited but a little nervous to step into the role.
“It’s been hard, a little bit,” Stein said. “He’s such an interesting character to try to portray, but I think I’ve grown a lot more in the past few weeks than I ever have. I’m excited to let people see what that looks like.”
Stein said while he may be nervous now, he isn’t worried about performing in front of the audience again.
“I haven’t performed since sophomore year but acting is second nature,” Stein said. “Once I get out there in costume and makeup, nothing is going to make me nervous. (I’m looking forward to) having people back and being on stage with all my friends again.”
Audrey Young, the senior student playing the Red Queen in the show, said her character has been fun to develop.
“I’m excited for my role in general because it’s so different from who I normally am,” Young said. “She’s so regal and bossy and better than everyone, and it’s fun to play a character who is the opposite of yourself.”
Young said she’s enjoying rehearsals and seeing all the other students “get into their characters.”
Senior Rachel White, who plays the White Queen, agreed with Young that it’s been fun to develop the character.
“She’s very different from any character I’ve ever played,” White said. “She has really interesting quirks. She’s very anxious and freaking out all the time, I tend to be a little more cool-headed … it’s been interesting to tap into that other side.
White said she’s looking forward to seeing the costume and sets as they are prepared before the show.
“They are going to be absolutely incredible,” she said. “I’m really excited to see it all put together.”
Tickets are available at delawarehayesthespians.com.
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.