CLINTON — Theater patrons who enjoy a good fairy tale are invited to tumble down the hole with Alice as she discovers a fantasyland filled with all sorts of creatures.
Her world will get “curiouser and curiouser” as she follows the White Rabbit in the upcoming production of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. This play, adapted by Tim Kelly from the Lewis Carroll novel, will be presented by the Clinton High School Drama Department at 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday and at 3 p.m. Saturday in the Clinton High School Auditorium.
Tickets will be sold at the door. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for children.
The all-student production is under the direction of Rebekkah Smith-Hays, high school drama teacher. This is this first year for Smith-Hays to teach drama at Clinton High School. She has been a faculty member for four years, first hired to teach English. She also teaches oral communications and journalism, and serves as adviser for the yearbook.
“This is my first year to direct plays,” she said. “I have assisted in past productions, helping behind the scenes. Linda Sullins retired last year (after 22 years), and I was able to move into her position. I have taught drama before. I taught for one year in Shirley and two years in Jacksonville.”
Smith-Hayes graduated from Shirley High School in 2002 and received a degree in theater from the University of Central Arkansas in Conway in 2006.
She said this play is a little different from the movie version.
“The Red Queen and the White Queen are chess pieces,” she explained, while the Queen of Hearts is a card. “The whole story is a game of chess. Alice goes from square to square in search of a crown. She is told when she gets to the eighth square, she gets to become a queen.”
Smith-Hays let her drama students choose the play.
“There are about 30 people in the play,” she said. “Not all students are in drama. Auditions were open to all students. The cast features students from fourth through 12th grades. They all seem to be enjoying it.
“Many of the characters are small roles, so some of the actors appear in more than one role. Alice, played by Kayla Meeler, is in every scene.”
Cast members include the following:
• Kayla Meeler, a junior at Clinton High School, portrays Alice, a young girl.
• Caleb Pryor, a senior, plays the White Rabbit, who is never on time. Pryor also plays Humpty Dumpty, a conceited egg.
• Rebecca Willingham, a junior, is the Mouse, who has a long tale to tell. Willingham also appears as a member of the jury.
• Tiffany Burns, a sophomore, plays the Mock Turtle, who is not a real turtle, but close enough. Burns also plays a member of the jury.
• Gabie Jones, a junior, is the Dodo, a strange-looking bird. Jones also plays a member of the jury.
• Whitney Wilkins, a junior, portrays the Red Queen, a chess figure.
• Britney Jones, a senior, plays Soldier One, a playing card.
• Gavin Smith, a fourth-grader, is the Knave of Hearts, a Jack playing card.
• Caitlin Hill, a sophomore, portrays Soldier Two, a playing card. Hill also plays the Cheshire Cat, who walks about without its grin.
• Alexus Stutzman, a junior, is the Queen of Hearts, a tyrant.
• Josh Pryor, a ninth-grader, portrays the Caterpillar, a sleepy sort. Pryor also plays the King of Hearts, who is the monarch of Wonderland.
• Ashlyn Watson, a fourth-grader, is the Fish Footman, a servant.
• Kylie Jackson, a fourth-grader, plays the Frog Footman, a servant.
• Kiera Timmons, a sophomore, portrays the Duchess, a domineering type. Timmons also plays a member of the jury and a flower.
• Serena Jones, a sophomore, is the Cook, who loves pepper. Jones also plays a flower.
• Shelby Pistole, a sophomore, plays Tweedledee, a fat little schoolboy with a twin brother. Pistole also appears as the Mad Hatter, who is mad as a March Hare.
• Dalton James, a junior, portrays Tweedledum, a fat little schoolboy with a twin brother. James also appears as the Knight, an aged horseman.
• Chase Blanton, a fifth-grader, is the March Hare, who is mad as a hatter.
• Juliana Parish, a ninth-grader, plays the Dormouse, a sleepy type, and Lily, a talking flower.
• Natalie Oneal, a fifth-grader, appears as Rose, a talking flower. Oneal also plays a card soldier.
• Jessica Lyons, a senior, is Daisy, a talking flower. Lyons also plays a member of the jury.
• Jennifer Lovell, a junior, appears as the White Queen, a chess figure, in three of the productions, including the two for-students-only
performances on Wednesday.
• Ashley Gallaher, a junior, appears as the White Queen in two of the productions. Gallaher also serves as stage manager.
• Hannah Parks, a senior, plays Sister, who is Alice’s elder sister. Parks is also the assistant stage manager.
Additional flowers are Ailyssa Brimer, Adrieonna Collins and Maycee Holt, all fourth-graders. They also appear as additional card soldiers.
Additional members of the crew include the following:
• Light and soundboard operators: Kylie Webb and Ashley Hayes, seniors; Maddie Coats, a junior; and Grant McMurry, a sophomore;
• Spotlight operator: Sierra Collard, a senior; and
• Hair and makeup: Savanah Trujillo, a sophomore, and Kasey Williams, a ninth-grader.