Trippin’ Down the Rabbit Hole

Splat. Raw egg dribbles into your eyes. Front row audience members got more than they bargained for at Katie Nadworny’s ’05 wild production of Alice in Wonderland last weekend. Sketches and quotes from the play were scribbled on the theater classroom walls. The nostalgic air of these doodles and the intimate seating on the floor made one want to jump into the jumble of polka dot, plaid, and suspender clad players on stage. Throughout the show, the play’s six core actors constantly shifted around to play a number of roles. The audience loved Melanie Kress ’05 as a wise, wasted caterpillar. Nate Scott’s ’05 most impressive role was an insane, hooting Cheshire cat. Kendra Allenby ’05 played a Queen of Hearts as mad as one could hope for, armed and deranged. Allenby enjoyed a lively game of whack-a-mole with a large, inflatable, squeaky hammer and three of the other actors in one of the show’s comedic high points. Mason Fried ’06 presented a hilarious white knight who soon thoroughly confused most of the audience with his far-flung inventions and double talk. Dan Adamsky ’06 played a brilliant Humpty Dumpty, a deep thinking and possibly suicidal egg. Susannah Poland ’07 took the role of Alice herself, and did an incredible job of portraying the zany and psychedelic trip through wonderland. Poland said of the show, “It definitely broke new ground and jarred audiences, which was what we wanted.” All members of the cast displayed their versatility with parts as inanimate objects as well, impersonating everything from trees to a complete croquet set. The six stayed onstage at all times, always occupied in some sort of game with one another when they were not part of the central action. The physical nature of the show made good chemistry between the players imperative. “[We were all] very comfortable with each other,” said Scott. Nadworny’s bizarre adaptation followed the Lewis Carroll story, but did not rely on it. Poland had not read the book but said, “I talked a bit with Katie about how I could portray her and what my motivations were, etc.” The show shocked, scared, confused and entertained both nights’ full houses to their heart’s content. This explosive version of Alice in Wonderland was one of the most wacky and brilliant theater classrooms to go up this year. Its success could be gauged by the wild applause at the close of the show. A student leaving the theater classroom said to a friend, “It was so sweet.” Well said.