‘Alice in Wonderland’ comes to Turnage Theatre on Sunday

Published 6:29 pm Wednesday, March 14, 2018

You won’t want be late for this very important date.

It’s down the rabbit hole this Sunday at the Turnage Theatre, as East Carolina University’s Storybook Theatre graces the stage for a matinee performance of “Alice in Wonderland.”

Hosted by Arts of the Pamlico, this free performance will bring to life the sights and sounds of Wonderland, combining iconic scenes and poems from Lewis Carroll’s novels “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” and “Through the Looking Glass.”

Made possible through a grant from Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities Award, the play will be directed by student directors Nick Lease and Michael Eubanks.

“Nick Lease received that award to produce and direct the play,” said ECU School of Theatre and Dance coordinator Patch Clark. “His premise for his application was to show differences among people and to embrace differences. He and the playwright have also worked with the language of the play to make it more applicable for young audiences.”

While Alice has been trained by her parents to act as a proper lady, the oddities and strange characters that inhabit the imaginary world of Wonderland force her to think outside the box and expand beyond convention.

As she faces nonsensical puzzles and obstacles, Alice must befriend a strange array of characters in order to conquer her fears, slay the monstrous Jabberwocky and ultimately find her way home.

TWO STOOGES: Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum, played by Jordan Biggers and Tyler Whitley, demonstrate the absurdity of Wonderland. (ECU Theatre and Dance)

The production coming to the Turnage stage this weekend is the world premiere of the show. Written by New York playwright James Armstrong, this adaptation follows closely the story Carroll originally wrote. Armstrong, who resides in New York City, will be attending Sunday’s performance.

“I’m very excited that my stage adaptation of Alice in Wonderland will receive its world premiere in North Carolina next week,” Armstrong wrote on his blog. “East Carolina University students Nick Lease and Michael Eubanks are directing the production, and I’ve been in touch with them over e-mail. We’ve made a few changes to the script, some of which I’ll be keeping for future productions, others of which are necessary for a younger audience, but might be adjusted for different productions going forward.”

In addition to being directed by two East Carolina students, the cast is also fully comprised of students from ECU.

Students from Beaufort County Schools will also enjoy a special performance of the play on Friday. All other theatergoers can see just how deep the rabbit hole goes at 2 p.m. Sunday at the Turnage. Admission is free to the public and concessions will be on sale before the curtain rises.

For a full listing of Arts of the Pamlico events, visit www.artsofthepamlico.org/events. For more information on upcoming ECU Theatre and Dance productions, visit www.ecu.edu/cs-cfac/theatredance/Productions.cfm.