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Columbia to present ‘Alice in Wonderland Jr.’

Lewis Carroll’s work of whimsical, exaggerated farce will come to life when Columbia Elementary School presents “Alice in Wonderland Jr.”

Columbia students rehearse "Alice in Wonderland." (CONTRIBUTED)

Shows on Feb. 7-8 at 7 p.m. are free. Tickets are $5 for fundraiser shows on Feb. 9 at 2:30 and 6 p.m.

The 44-member cast from grades 2-6 has a chorus of 77 students in K-6, Terrena Mann. Mann, a parent volunteer, serves as director of the Columbia Drama Club and this show’s producer, musical director and choreographer.

Principal actors are Avery Middleton and understudy Kaija Sorensen (Alice), Matthew Dennison (White Rabbit), Adrian Martinez (Dodo), Anna Kate Massengale and Abbi Dempsey (Tweedle Dee, Tweedle Dum), Hope Elizabeth Heffernan (Mad Hatter) and Marissa Robertson and Brennan Bush (King and Queen of Hearts).

Collaborating as the Caterpillar are Gavin Newberry, Carly Parker, Brian Whittemore, Alexander Underwood and D.J. Adcock. Melisa Shaffer, Avery Williams and Nichole Harting portray Cheshire Cat.

The show is based on Disney’s “Alice in Wonderland” and Carroll’s “The Adventures of Alice in Wonderland” and “Through the Looking Glass.” Some songs, like “Zip-a-Dee-Do-Dah”, will be fresh to the audience.

The young cast — some in stage debuts — has felt some nervousness. Recent rehearsals “have brought out pride as parents and volunteers have given so much time and attention to sets and props,” Mann said. “With a couple of good rehearsals under our belt, the cast has really come together as a team.”

Since September, the cast has matured and “has heart and talent you just can’t teach,” Mann said.

Mary Davis with Bob Jones High School Theatre, Joel Louden, shop teacher at James Clemens High School, and their students have built some set pieces.

Countless parents have volunteered and provided props. “To build a theater department in an elementary school is a unique venture” demanding significant manpower from parents, Mann said.

Faculty sponsor and kindergarten teacher Alison Carvalho and parent volunteer Kelly Baugher have assisted with rehearsals.

Tickets are available at showtix4u.com or at the door. For more information, email to cesdramaclub@gmail.com.

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