In a scene from the Stage West Community Theatre production of “Alice in Wonderland,” Alice (Joni Chism) finds herself in the middle as Tweedledee (Pamela Nygaard on right) and Tweedledum (Cai Hadfield) prepare for battle with brooms, buckets and washboards. The play runs May 3-12 at the Ocean Shores Lions Club. (Photo by Scott D. Johnston)

In a scene from the Stage West Community Theatre production of “Alice in Wonderland,” Alice (Joni Chism) finds herself in the middle as Tweedledee (Pamela Nygaard on right) and Tweedledum (Cai Hadfield) prepare for battle with brooms, buckets and washboards. The play runs May 3-12 at the Ocean Shores Lions Club. (Photo by Scott D. Johnston)

Stage West Theatre’s ‘Alice in Wonderland’ runs May 3-12 at Ocean Shores Lions Club

  • Thu May 2nd, 2019 11:00am
  • Life

By Scott D. Johnston

Stage West Community Theatre opens its production of “Alice in Wonderland” this weekend at the Ocean Shores Lions Club, 832 Ocean Shores Blvd. NW. There will be Friday and Saturday evening performances at 7 p.m. on May 3, 4, 10 and 11 and Sunday matinées at 2 p.m. on May 5 and 12.

The cast of 24 is the largest in memory for the local non-profit theater group and half are students from the area.

Several adults are making their Stage West debuts including Ocean Shores City Council members Susan Conniry and Kathryn Sprigg, who auditioned on a whim and were surprised and flattered when director Jay Dalton asked them to play the roles of the Cook and the Duchess. Other newcomers to Stage West include Joni Chism as Alice, Joseph Duncan as the Mad Hatter and Mike Preston as the Knave of Hearts.

Dalton said the show boasts “one wildly elaborate set,” which features a playful 10-by-24 foot backdrop collage hand painted by local artist Don Wells. An eclectic collection of colorful costuming completes the production’s visual design, because “audiences have a certain expectation of what ‘Alice in Wonderland’ should look like,” the director explained.

Retired after 40 years of teaching theater along with “a smattering of everything,” Dalton said he finds the “biggest challenge in working with young actors is persuading them that they’re good enough to do it. A lot of times they’re not sure. … After weeks of intensive rehearsal, I believe … this cast has created an imaginative version of the Alice story.”

Tickets are $10 for adults, $5 for students and are available in Ocean Shores at the Dusty Trunk and Mocha Madness, at the door and online at www.stagewestcommunitytheatre.org.