Loyal Heights Elementary is excited to present Disney’s Alice in Wonderland Jr. this weekend at the Ballard High School Auditorium (1418 NW 65th St). The company has been working on the performance for months are are excited to present it to the local community.
Producer/Choreographer Bret Ashlee Watson reports that the entire student body was invited to audition for the production and all who auditioned were cast in the musical.
Although the script calls for just 24, this production of Alice in Wonderland Jr. boasts a cast of 165 students ages five through eleven years old, involving 45% of the student body.
The production is also supported by a team of 30 student production crew members and over 90 parents, grandparents, faculty, staff, and members of the Ballard community.
These volunteers have collectively given over 600 hours making custom sets, props & costumes and performing other behind the scenes tasks. So, in total, the production has a whopping 191 member company that is extremely excited to share their work with the local community.
Last year Loyal Heights performed Willy Wonka Jr. with a cast of 173, including appearances by extra special VIP staff performers.
The project does not serve as a fundraiser, but alternatively exists to provide students with an intorudction to the theatrical experience both on stage and behind the scenes.
“Our two main goals for this project are to provide all interested Loyal Heights students a positive, relevant introduction to theatre arts, and to encourage and support family participation,” says Producer/Choreographer Bret Ashlee Watson.
Watson produced the previous two productions at Loyal Heights, Seussical Jr. in 2012 and Willy Wonka Jr. in 2013, and believes that students gain so much from being involved in each production. “In addition to music, dance, and acting training that culminates in an authentic theatrical experience, our cast and crew learn teamwork, responsibility, and patience; positive character attributes that will help them throughout their lives,” says Watson.
Volunteers and parents are in agreement with Watson about why the project is beneficial to the school community. “I love seeing the kids be a part of something bigger than what they could be on their own. Over the course of a few weeks, they develop a large family that supports, encourages, and celebrates each participant and their unique talents. says parent Rebecca Madonna. “I have watched them discover of a facet of themselves I never would have otherwise seen,” she continues.
Loyal Heights students have clearly gained so much from the rehearsal process in addition to the excitement of the upcoming performances this weekend. “My favorite part about rehearsals is being able to become a whole different person that is completely opposite from me. I also love getting taught how to be a better actress each day,” says Jillian N., who plays The Queen of Hearts.
The students are thrilled to share their favorite parts of the show with the local community this weekend. “My favorite part of the show is being with my co-kitties, Kjersten W. and Ella T, because they are so loving and supporting. I feel like they’re family,” says Isa C-M., who plays one of the Cheshire Cats. Asher W., The March Hare, says that his favorite part is “the Tea Party because its really fun and exciting!”
Alice in Wonderland will be performed this Saturday, March 29, at 1 p.m. and 6 p.m. and Sunday, March 30, at 1 p.m. and 6 p.m.
Tickets are now on sale and cost $10 per person, children under 2 years are free.
Tickets will only be sold online and can be purchased here.
All proceeds from ticket sales go towards covering the cost of sets, props and costumes which have been designed and created for the production.
Photos courtesy of Loyal Heights Elementary.