By Lisa Capobianco
Students in the Flanders School Drama Club recently dashed toward the stage in excitement to rehearse their upcoming play, Disney’s “Alice in Wonderland. “
“I’m really excited,” said fifth grader Grace Michaud, who will play the role of Alice. “I like it because she’s in a dream and it’s all make-believe.”
Michaud is one of many students in the drama club who will play a role in the annual production. With over 40 students in the club, each member who auditioned back in November will have an opportunity to participate. Other cast members include Ali Baur, Lyzia Julia and Bri Lanci, who will play the role of the Cheshire Cats, narrating the play. The play also features other roles, including the Queen of Hearts, the Mad Hatter, the White Rabbit and Tweedledee and Tweedledum, among others. Students will sing about 12 songs during the production.
The club, which consists of third, fourth and fifth graders, has rehearsed the play twice a week for at least several weeks with the help of high school volunteers who direct and choreograph the production, including Carolyn Zesut as acting director and Rachel Dufresne as acting/vocal assistant. Adam Viviano will serve as vocal director, Marissa Tedeschi will serve as technical/stage director, and Paula Calandra will serve as the choreography director. There are also student helpers involved in the technical production of the play, including Katie Cichon, Liam Seebauer and Meghan Cichon.
Seniors Katie Miller and Stephanie Krar are the co-directors.
“It’s very rewarding because I’ve got to know each of these kids individually,” said Miller, adding that each student brings his or her personality on stage. “I’m excited to see the final product.”
Senior Stephanie Krar, who has been involved with the productions since the beginning, also serves as co-director. Krar said this is her first year serving as a co-director, which is a rewarding experience for her.
“Being a co-director—you get a different side of it,” said Krar, adding that being a co-director gives her an opportunity to get to know each student individually. “They really bring their personalities out on stage.”
Founded about six years ago, the Flanders School Drama Club consists of about 45 students this year. The drama club committee has parent volunteers, including Jen Lanci. Lanci said she enjoys seeing the level of involvement between the high school volunteers and drama club students as they work together to create a successful production.
“I love how it’s student-run,” said Lanci, adding the membership of the club grows every year. “They plan out rehearsals, they work with the kids.”
The production of Alice in Wonderland will take place Saturday, March 22 at 6:30 p.m. and Sunday, March 23 at 2 p.m. in the auditorium of Derynoski Elementary School. Admission is $5.