The Avon Theatre transforms into a fantasy world as Alice Through the Looking-Glass begins previews

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The Avon Theatre transforms into a fantasy world as

 

Alice Through the Looking-Glass begins previews

 

 

 

April 30, 2014… Twenty years after its Stratford première, Alice Through the Looking-Glass returns to the Avon Theatre in a spectacular new production directed by Jillian Keiley, Artistic Director for English Theatre at the National Arts Centre, and designed by award-winning designer Bretta Gerecke. Lewis Carroll’s classic story, adapted for the stage by Stratford native James Reaney, begins previews on Wednesday, April 30.

 

 

 

Ms Keiley and Ms Gerecke make their Stratford debuts with this production. While staying true to the spirit and joy of the original story, the pair push the boundaries of the creative process to create an exhilarating theatre event. A visual masterpiece, the production features a stunning set and extraordinary props, including bubble balls, confetti cannons, mini parachutes, sparklers, bouncy horses, bubble machines and other surprises.

 

 

 

“As children take inspiration from their own lives, Bretta and I have planned a world as created by the child Alice – full of bicycles and toy wagons, kites and chessboards,” says Ms Keiley. “But since this world is through the looking-glass, bicycles have giant trees growing out of the handlebars, red toy wagons inspire a flotilla for the Queen’s entrance, and the kings and queens of chessboards join all the characters from Alice’s mounds of books. Our goal is to tap into that wonderful world of seven-year-olds, where anything is not only possible but likely, and the only thing you can reasonably expect is the unexpected.”

 

 

 

Exploring the farthest reaches of Alice’s imagination will be a fun way to delve into this season’s theme of Madness: Minds Pushed to the Edge.

 

 

 

“A child’s imagination is perhaps the ultimate example of a mind pushed to the edge, and Alice’s imagination is the most eccentric of them all,” says Artistic Director Antoni Cimolino. “With the show’s flamboyant design, magnificent artistry and delightful audience interactions, this show is an ideal introduction to the stage for young audiences.

 

 

 

“After years of wanting to see Jillian at the Festival, I’m so proud to have her here at last to direct Alice Through the Looking-Glass. And designer Bretta Gerecke is one of the most gifted and imaginative in the country. I was fortunate enough to work with Bretta on my production of Enron at Theatre Calgary in 2012, and to have her here now means so much to me. I can’t wait to see the audience’s reaction to the endless list of theatrical tricks these two have up their sleeves.”

 

 

 

Audiences can look forward to seeing iconic characters played by many Festival favourites, including Trish Lindström as Alice, Cynthia Dale as the Red Queen, Dion Johnstone as the White King, Tom McCamus as the March Hare and Brian Tree as Humpty Dumpty.

 

 

 

In addition to Ms Keiley and Ms Gerecke, the artistic team includes Lighting Designer Kimberly Purtell, Composer Jonathan Monro, Sound Designer John Gzowski, Dramaturge Bob White, Fight Director John Stead and Choreographer Dayna Tekatch.

 

 

 

“In creating this production, the artistic, performing and production teams reached deep inside to find their own seven-year-old selves,” says Ms Keiley. “They pulled those little imps out to invent, paint, sing, dance, learn, build, and make each other laugh. It’s that seven-year-old ‘you’ that we welcome to come out and play with us today.”

 

 

 

Alice Through the Looking-Glass is a Schulich Children’s Play presentation and produced in association with Canada’s National Arts Centre.

 

 

 

Alice Through the Looking-Glass Forum Highlights

 

 

 

The Stratford Festival Forum is a series of activities and events, including concerts, debates, talks, comedy and interactive presentations, that offer theatregoers a unique opportunity to delve further into the ideas and issues raised by the 2014 playbill and its theme of Madness: Minds Pushed to the Edge.

 

 

 

Themes related to Alice Through the Looking-Glass will be explored through several Forum events, including: Alice Adventure Lunches, a themed meal and activity to ignite your child’s imagination before the magic unfolds on stage; Adapting Alice, a panel discussion including Jillian Keiley and Peter Hinton, playwright for the Shaw Festival; and Acting Up: Alice, a drama workshop in which 8- to 10-year-olds use costumes to explore scenes and characters from the play.

 

 

 

Sustaining support for the Forum is generously provided by Kelly & Michael Meighen and the T.R. Meighen Foundation. Support for the 2014 Forum is generously provided by Nandita & Julian Wise. Selected Forum events supported by Bell Let’s Talk.

 

 

 

Support for the 2014 season of the Avon Theatre is generously provided by the Birmingham Family.

 

 

 

Alice Through the Looking-Glass opens on May 31 and runs until October 12. For tickets, contact the box office at 1.800.567.1600 or visit stratfordfestival.ca

 

 

 

Stratford Direct, the daily return private bus service, now offers two routes: Toronto to Stratford and Detroit to Stratford. The Toronto bus costs $20 round trip, departing once daily from May 3 to 24 and September 23 to October 12, and twice daily between May 26 and September 21. The Detroit bus costs $40 round trip, with Tuesday, Friday and Saturday departures from June 3 to September 28. Both routes run on performance days only.

 

 

 

The Stratford Direct Presenting Sponsor is OLG. Support for Stratford Direct is generously provided by The Peter Cundill Foundation.

 

 

 

The 2014 season runs from April 21 to October 12, featuring King Lear; Crazy for You; two versions of A Midsummer Night’s Dream; The Beaux’ Stratagem; Man of La Mancha; Alice Through the Looking-Glass; Hay Fever; King John; Mother Courage and Her Children; Antony and Cleopatra; Christina, The Girl King; and more than 200 events in The Forum.

 

 

 

Cast (in alphabetical order)

 

Understudy……………………………………          Graham Abbey

 

Tiger Lily, Messenger.………………………..          Sarah Afful

 

Mad Hatter (Hatta), White Paper Gentleman…         Kevin Bundy

 

Red Queen…………………………………….         Cynthia Dale

 

Daisy 2, Pudding………………………………         Ijeoma Emesowum

 

White King……………………………………         Dion Johnstone

 

Goat, Alice (the Cyclist)………………………         Ruby Joy

 

Red Knight, Red King, Walrus……………….         John Kirkpatrick

 

Fawn, Horse, Red Queen Double…………….          Claire Lautier

 

Alice…………………………………………..          Trish Lindström

 

Gnat, Alice (the Pianist)………………………          Elliott Loran

 

March Hare (Haigha), Narrator………………           Tom McCamus

 

Tweedledum…………………………………..         Mike Nadajewski

 

White Queen………………………………….          Sarah Orenstein

 

Rose…………………………………………..          Sarena Parmar

 

Unicorn, Carpenter……………………………          Gareth Potter

 

Lion……………………………………………         Tyrone Savage

 

Tweedledee……………………………………         Sanjay Talwar

 

Humpty Dumpty…….………………………..          Brian Tree

 

Daisy, Moon………………………………….          Sophia Walker

 

White Knight…………………………………          Rylan Wilkie

 

Sheep, Beetle, Larkspur………………………          Jenny Young

 

 

 

Artistic Credits

 

Director………………………………………           Jillian Keiley

 

Designer………………………………………           Bretta Gerecke

 

Lighting Designer……………………………           Kimberly Purtell

 

Composer……………………………………            Jonathan Monro

 

Sound Designer………………………………           John Gzowski

 

Dramaturge………………………………….            Bob White

 

Fight Director………………………………..           John Stead

 

Choreographer……………………………….           Dayna Tekatch

 

Producer……………………………………..            David Auster

 

Casting Director……………………………..            Beth Russell

 

Creative Planning Director………………….            Jason Miller

 

Associate Designer…………………………..           Jennifer Goodman

 

Associate Fight Director…………………….            Geoff Scovell

 

Assistant Director……………………………           Christine Brubaker

 

Assistant Set Designer……………………….           Nancy Anne Perrin

 

Assistant Lighting Designers………………..            CJ. Astronomo, Jareth Li

 

Dance Captain……………………………….           Cynthia Dale

 

Fight Captain…………………………………           Gareth Potter

 

Stage Manager……………………………….           Brian Scott

 

Assistant Stage Managers……………………           Crystal Skinner, Kristopher Weber

 

Apprentice Stage Manager…………………..           Katie Honek

 

Production Assistant…………………………           Liz King

 

Production Stage Managers………………….           Julie Miles, Maxwell T. Wilson

 

Technical Director……………………………           Elissa Horscroft

 

 

 

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Ann Swerdfager

 

Publicity Director

 

 

 

Stratford Festival 55 Queen Street PO Box 520 Stratford ON | N5A 6V2

 

 

 

Box Office: Toll Free 1.800.567.1600 Local 519.273.1600

 

stratfordfestival.ca

 

 

 

2014 Season | April 21 to October 12

King Lear | Crazy for You | A Midsummer Night’s Dream | The Beaux’ Stratagem
Man of La Mancha | Alice Through the Looking-Glass | Hay Fever | King John
Mother Courage and Her Children | Antony and Cleopatra | Christina, The Girl King
A Midsummer Night’s Dream, a chamber play

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