The hall leading to the auditorium was lined with children's toys, books and play items--all possessing an eerie vibe. The chilling sounds of children's voices over a soundtrack accompanied by chants and other mumbling set the tone for what is sure to be an uncomfortable experience. Allegations of Lewis Carroll's erotic fascination with young girls, particularly the real 11-year-old Alice Liddell, who became the object of Carroll's affections and imaginations were made known to the audience, most of who were hearing the information for the first time through audio and video recordings from documentaries and first hand accounts.
The seating for the play was on stage and arranged in a way that incorporated the audience into the production. There were small remnants of the Wonderland that we use to know. Ace of hearts playing cards, flamingos and tea pots. The cast started the production by performing a set of vocal warm ups and stretches. After a brief reading of the house rules--we were transported to Wonderland.
In his Director''s notes, Dr. Patrick Santoro, Ph.D stated "we have not added words or rewritten scenarios between characters, nor have we worked to provide easy answers or lucid rationales for why things happen, but it also serves as an opportunity to reflect upon our current cultural landscape, in which we have finally begun to call out abuses of power and privilege and to at last name the silences left unspoken..."
Besides putting on a well executed theatrical work of art, the troupe did a fantastic job of bringing the characters we have come to love in unique and abstract ways. From the Cheshire cat, the Caterpillar, The Queen of Hearts, even Humpty Dumpty made an appearance during the 90 minute performance.
Director Dr. Santoro shared with the audience that he was a sexual assault survivor. One can assume that the feelings of isolation, loneliness and mental anguish lead to the production of this timely and appropriate toned work of art. GSU's Alice in Wonderland was met with excitement and anticipation--selling out all 3 shows for November 1st, 2nd and 3rd.
Kudos to: Gaston, Nekia, Zachary, C. Kimberly, Carole, Kevin, Kennedi, Sade', Ronald, Melanie, Alex, Manuel, Alasia, Alexa, Samantha, Symone, Breigh, Hayley, Gerardo and Dr. Santoro for a wonderful night of fun, education and entertainment -- BRAVO!
Visit: http://www.govst.edu/About/Center_for_Performing_Arts/All_Events_by_Date/ for upcoming performances.
Stephen "TheeBlackSocialite" Hale