Capital Fringe Review: ‘Alice in Wonderland’ by Lauren Katz

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The Greenbelt Arts Center presents the popular children’s tale Alice in Wonderland, with a twist. The basic storyline is still present: Alice (Liz Cassedy) falls down a rabbit hole and meets a series of strange characters in a magical world, ranging from the Mad Hatter (Ryan Willis) to the Red Queen (Ronda Ansted) and the White Rabbit (Susanne Bard). However, instead of an enchanted forest, this production takes place on an almost empty stage with a checkered floor and most of the story is told through physical movement rather than descriptive language.

Liz Cassedy and Ryan Willis Photos from the Greenbelt Arts Center production. Photo by Betsy Marks Delaney.

Director Betsy Marks Delaney decided to take an interesting experimental approach to this production and base much of the staging and storyline on the avant-garde movement. The magic of the fairytale was replaced with an eerier feel, and a lot was left to interpretation. For example, because there was no set, the audience was left to imagine their own wonderland, and what kinds of creatures one may encounter. Each of the actors also played multiple characters, thus increasing the confusion of the play, and enforcing the idea that the events are all occurring inside Alice’s head as part of a crazy dream.

If you enjoy new perspectives on popular fairy tales, then Greenbelt Arts Center’s production is perfect for you. Delaney successfully takes the traditional story and turns it on its head. Though the basic plot is still present, so much is left to interpretation, that Delaney almost created a new story. The play is full of riddles and new ideas that keep audience members on their toes and constantly wondering what will come next.

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For more information and to purchase tickets, read our Fringe Preview.

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