Cougars in Wonderland 

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Behind the Scenes// Coronado’s Theatre Department works diligently to build the set for Alice in Wonderland. It’s never defined what exactly “wonderland” is; every visual is up to interpretation, much like the play. (Photo by Brianna Gracia)

Cougars in Wonderland 

by Mariska Roberts

Coronado’s Theatre Department is composed of talented students who charm crowds every year with on-stage performances, technical work, and set designs. From Mamma Mia! to Mean Girls, they’ve stunned audiences with the classics, and they’ll do it again during October 18-21 with their production of Alice in Wonderland, a play so mesmerizing it will surely be everyone’s cup of tea. 

“Alice is a good choice for us since it’s manageable with money, costumes, really everything; kids will probably enjoy how colorful it is,” junior Olivia Vasquez said. “They’ll see it in a fun and goofy way, which is different than how adults or people with an artistic mindset would. It has a good script that’s funny but also makes you realize different things. It’s a show that’s open to interpretation and good for everyone.”

Alice in Wonderland is the tale of a young woman who finds herself in a labyrinth of mystical adventures. With no recollection of the otherworldly scenery or peculiar characters, she faces challenges that ultimately give the audience food for thought about different people and ideas. Appealing to all audiences, this production is intriguing both visually and intellectually.

“I’ve always loved that story because it reminds me of how surreal my imagination was as a child,” junior Ava Trujillo said. “Colors seemed brighter, and the world was just so enchanting.”

Assistant Directors Olivia Vasquez and Kaitlyn Belen managed callbacks for auditions. Since characters like the Cheshire Cat and Mad Hatter are so unique, they used discretion as an opportunity for equitable casting of anyone who’s interested and fit for each role. Having multiple show nights also helps in achieving diversity in both casts.

“Even with casting our Cheshire cat, we chose a girl and a guy,” Vasquez said. “Our Mad Hatters are complete opposites of each other, so each show is going to be different. One acts like the animated version while the other is like Johnny Depp’s character.”

It’ll be thrilling to see Alice and her counterparts navigate the mysteries of Wonderland, especially since there’s so much authenticity; there’s an appeal to children, adolescents, and adults. Each character is unapologetically themself and they all come together to show the audience that it’s okay to be unique; through the ups, downs, sums, and differences, we can all live harmoniously.

“It’s a way of saying ‘everyone is different in their own way and has something special or weird about them, but everyone can still be friends and be silly,’” said Vasquez. “Whether it’s the Queen of Hearts yelling ‘off with their heads’ or the Mad Hatter freaking out that the queen is near, they all have each other and are in Wonderland together.”

It’d be a shame to be late for this very important date. See Alice in Wonderland at the Coronado theater from October 18th through the 21st. For those interested in the magic our student thespians have been working on, tickets are available for sale at https://www.showtix4u.com.

“It’s out of this world; you have to get out of your comfort zone for this show,”  Vasquez said.