Alice in Wonderland comes to life in 12 hours of practice in Greensburg

Hannah Brown
Kiowa County Signal
A Twilight Players cast of young people from Kiowa County put on a performance of Alice in Wonderland last weekend at the Twilight Theater in Greensburg, led by director Alyssa Brown (front).

The Twilight Theatre and Community Auditorium played host to several events over the weekend, with one of those being the production of Alice in Wonderland by area Greensburg and Kiowa County youth performers. The free show took place July 10 at 2:30 p.m., the result of a summer children's workshop.

"The targeted age range for this year's workshop was 4th through going into 7th grade. So roughly from about age 9 to 12 years old. However, we encourage teenagers to volunteer for things like tech assistance, set building, or assisting with the younger workshop kids - training that we provide as part of the workshop," said Alyssa Brown, director. "We also don’t turn away younger kids who want to be part of the magic, as long as a parent is accompanying them to assist. We will always find a job for anyone and everyone who is wanting to join us!"

This year, there were four days of workshops from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. with a single performance on Saturday. 

Alice in Wonderland was chosen because it has a similar set to Clue, which was the most recent show by the Twilight Players. 

"It just made it easier to do back-to-back shows with similar set requirements," said Brown.

It was also a good choice for Brown because she has loved the show since she was a child, and after helping with other Twilight Players productions, she knew there were young actors and actresses who would fit into the roles in Alice in Wonderland.

To prepare for the show, the cast worked for just 12 hours to learn lines, blocking, and characterization. Some children, with the help of Amber Campbell, even had to learn how to incorporate the use of a musical instrument.

"It is very impressive how the cast developed over a very limited timeframe. We are extremely proud of all of our workshop students, and hope to see them all again next year, and that they bring their friends to play with us, too!" said Brown.

Alice in Wonderland was the third summer workshop for local actors and actresses. Wiz Kids was the first in 2019, directed by Janet West and Alyssa Brown with musical direction by Amber Campbell and assisted by Angelique Libby, Sue Greenleaf, and Savanah Hall. Melissa Jacobs was the choreographer for the show. In 2020 Janet West directed Peter Pan with the help of Kim McMurry, Angelique Libby, and Jayci Smitherman, Sue Greenleaf, and Savannah Hall. Campbell once again directed the music. This year's production of Alice in Wonderland was directed by Brown and musically directed by Campbell. Smitherman along with Zane Hager, Michelle Naumann, and Savannah Hall assisted. Sarah Christenson and Stacy Barnes helped with make-up and face paint, and tech assistants were Mike McBeath, Tanner Fulton, Jauilyn Arredondo, and Lucy Libby. Front-of-house help was Rosalee Libby and House Manager George Ryan, along with a few others.

Centera Bank, People's Bank, Haviland State Bank, Mullinville State Bank, and SJN Bank were all generous sponsors of camp t-shirts this year.