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‘Alice in Wonderland’ hits the stage in Seward

The cast of "Alice in Wonderland." The Seward High School Theatre Collective is putting on performances of the play at the high school's auditorium.
Rhonda Bohart
Courtesy of Seward High School Theatre Collective
The cast of "Alice in Wonderland." The Seward High School Theatre Collective is putting on performances of the play at the high school's auditorium.

Audience members can take a trip down the rabbit hole as the Seward High School Theatre Collective puts on performances of “Alice in Wonderland.”

Students and children of all ages spent the past 10 weeks preparing the collective’s third ever play. Eighth grader Lily Miles-Dafoe plays the Cheshire Cat, a cat that comes in and out of existence that speaks with Alice throughout the story.

“I think the play is about Alice really finding who she is without a bunch of people telling her what they think she is,” she said, “and I think she finds her true identity through the help of the ‘Alice in Wonderland’ characters. And I think it's really cool.”

On top of playing the Cheshire Cat, Miles-Dafoe performed in the collective’s production of “Little Women” last fall. She said she enjoyed meeting new and returning actors.

“My favorite part is coming back and being able to work with some of the old people that I, I met last year that, that were in the last play and the new people and being able to meet new friends and make new friends and solidify relationships with them,” she said.

Director Meegan Miller said this adaptation by Anne Coulter Martins is slightly different from the source material, which normally begins with Alice in the real world before going through the rabbit hole into Wonderland.

“We don't see the crossover between reality and, essentially, her dream, which Wonderland is,” Miller said.

The group had its opening night on April 5, and played for packed theaters at Seward High School all weekend.

Fifth grader Aurora Bukoc plays Alice. This is her first speaking role and she said she had a great opening weekend.

“It was kind of scary, because I haven't, had, been on the stage with that big of an audience before. So it was a little overwhelming,” she said, “but after I got into it, it was kind of like, ‘oh my god, this is kind of awesome.’”

In addition to having students in the cast and crew, Miller says the collective had dancers as young as four years old from Hive Dance Studio perform. She says they practiced separately on the weekend until the dress rehearsal.

“They were a part of the production the whole time that we knew they were coming,” she said, “but they came in at dress rehearsal and then finally got on stage with us.”

Producing a play like “Alice in Wonderland” has been a community effort. From financial support to contractors like Wade Petersen and Morgan Shepard volunteering to create set pieces, Miller said people in Seward worked hard alongside the collective to put the production together.

“When I put out a post on Facebook, ‘do you want to volunteer to build a set?’ and two contractors in town just showed up and built our set and built it with joy, and were happy to be there,” she said, “and it was just amazing to have these two guys helping us.”

The group has three more public performances at the Seward High School auditorium on April 11, 12 and 14. They’ll also hold two performances on April 15 for schools in Seward, Hope, Moose Pass and Cooper Landing.

More information can be found on the collective’s website.

Jamie Diep is a reporter/host for KBBI from Portland, Oregon. They joined KBBI right after getting a degree in music and Anthropology from the University of Oregon. They’ve built a strong passion for public radio through their work with OPB in Portland and the Here I Stand Project in Taipei, Taiwan.Jamie covers everything related to Homer and the Kenai Peninsula, and they’re particularly interested in education and environmental reporting. You can reach them at to send story ideas.
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