PORTSMOUTH — Residents will have an opportunity to go down the rabbit hole and into Wonderland this weekend as Alice in Wonderland takes the stage.
The show, which is slated for June 4-6, will take guests into the magical world of wonderland performed by the Cirque D’ Art Theatre at the Vern Riffe Center for the Arts. The show will feature about 100 students from the nonprofit organization and will be one of the first shows to open in the area since the pandemic.
“When we got the go ahead, we knew we had to go big or go home,” Alyssa Redoutey said, who plays Alice in the show. “We have all worked really hard and we are just so excited to be able to have a show.”
Throughout the pandemic, the nonprofit has been coping with health orders and mandates to provide local children experiences. While some classes and activities had to be altered, Cirque D’ Art continued to serve its students as much as it could.
“It was a tough year because our contingency plans had to have contingency plans,” Pegi Wilkes, co-director of Cirque D’ Art, said. “In the end, it all worked out with the governor announcing June 2 would end a lot of the state mandates, so it has made us very happy and pleased to put this on.”
Cirque D’ Art was the last group to be on the Vern Riffe stage right before the pandemic started. Co-Director Trisha Schmidt said she is happy to be back on the stage and to hear the children’s voices in the halls and on the stage.
“Blocking out scenes of the show were sometimes challenging due to COVID-19 restrictions, but it has all come together,” Redoutey said. “We have given our blood, sweat and tears to this show.”
Redoutey shared that audiences will really feel like they are in Wonderland throughout the show with special effects and tricks, including her falling down an actual hole.
“It is probably my favorite part of the whole show,” Redoutey said. “The audience will get to see it and it’s just so much fun.”
While many restrictions and mandates have been lifted, Redoutey shared performers are still required to wear masks in backstage areas. Mask will not be worn while actors are onstage. Even with a few restrictions, Redoutey expressed how thankful she was to be able to perform a show her senior year.
“I am so thankful to everyone who has made this possible,” Redoutey said. “There are three seniors and to be able to have this show really means a lot to us. It has been an amazing experience.”
After months of hard work from everyone involved with the show, Redoutey hopes the show will give local residents some comfort to see the community getting back to normal.
“I hope everyone comes and sees the show,” Redoutey said. “It a few hours where people can come and leave the pandemic and escape to wonderland. I hope it brings the audience some relief, laughs, happiness and brings them back to a sense of normalcy.”
Tickets for Alice in Wonderland can be purchased by calling the McKinley Box office at 740-351-3600. Tickets cost $15 per adult and $10 per child. Showtimes are Friday, June 4 at 7 p.m. Saturday, June 5 at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. and Sunday, June 6 at 3 p.m. Masks are still required during the show and if a spectator would like to be socially distanced, they can request it at the box office.
Reach Adam Black at (740) 353-3101 ext. 1927, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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