Saturday, November 29, 2014

All of Our Alices

Every production is different, but if Alice herself described her namesake extravaganza-in-progress here at Summers-Knoll, she might describe it as O my, really so VERY different.

One of my favorite characteristics of this production is the nature of the collaboration amongst faculty, families, and students. It should come as no surprise that eighth graders, most of them veterans of three SK plays, have taken on great responsibilities. Isobel made costumes happen for The Odyssey, and, with contributions from Sarah Kingham, Christine Moellering and others, is doing a great deal of that work on Alice (including some fabulous surprises for Tweedledum and Tweedledee, our only import from Through the Looking Glass). Mike is directing one of the play's eleven scenes. Josh Grekin is King of Music, but Maya and Elizabeth are composing and arranging much of it, and helping to oversee all of it. Nico is anchoring a couple of those songs on the cello, and Matthew, a seventh grader, has composed incidental music, which he will also perform. Aristea wrote one of the songs. As he did for The Odyssey, Jianmarco is masterminding props, including their acquisition, design, and organization.

What really differentiates Alice is the degree to which younger students have been part of the creative process. Some of the 5-6s participated in writing lyrics for the croquet opus. The 3-4s have written music too, and a crack team of 3-4 visionaries, designers, and carpenters under Andaiye Spencer's direction are building the set pieces. Josh worked with the earliest elementary students, the kids in kindergarten, first and second grade, to write three of the play's nine songs. And an eager Face Paint Battalion comprised of students in grades 3-8, parents, staff, and Megan Dooley, will be adorning fifty faces with hypoallergenic glittery paint.

Fill up on tea and cucumber sandwiches! The rabbit-hole beckons. Alice will be performed on the evening of Friday, December 12, and the afternoon and evening of Saturday, December 13.

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