Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Tuscaloosa Academy presents ‘Alice in Wonderland’ at Bama Theatre


The Tuscaloosa Academy players are dealing with less-than-ideal conditions as they rehearse Lewis Carroll’s “Alice in Wonderland.” The students must rehearse on a small stage in a classroom and props must be made off site due to lack of space. Tuscaloosa Academy does not have a theater to accommodate their drama department and therefore must perform at the Bama Theatre.

“We met architects last year,” director Matthew von Redlich said. “There’s an ongoing discussion because our sports team is really strong at Tuscaloosa Academy and we need a second gym because we have so many sports that need to practice. Some of the plans have had a second gym and a new theater that share a general concession area.”

The surrounding classrooms are filled with costumes, wigs and computers for when classes are taught during the day. While 43 states require some kind of art program at schools, music and art education isn’t always top priority in comparison to sports.

“I’m afraid that sports is what sells around here,” von Redlich said. “In 10 years they can be actors and singers, but what’s the likelihood that they will have a football career? Because that’s probably not going to happen.”

“Alice in Wonderland” has a wide variety of actors and actresses who range in age from 12 to 18 years old. For sophomore Sarah Corbett Woods this will be her first performance in a leading role playing Alice.

“It’s been a learning experience and it’s fun interacting with people on stage. The Bama’s a lot bigger and has more of an audience feeling, where when we are rehearsing here it’s more of an assembly feeling. We still have fun though; we don’t mind,” Woods said.

Woods helps her mother create costumes for the cast when she is not working on homework during rehearsal. The queen of hearts costume has a large hoop skirt, Humpty Dumpty’s costume has a large bow made of gold sequins and the Mad Hatter has eyes the same red color as his wig.

“When I first got this costume they had to lift me on to the stage. I usually shuffle my feet when I am in it in order to move,” Elizabeth Moseley, a sophomore, said. Moseley plays the caterpillar and her costume is made of irrigation tubes that are covered in blue silk to match her blue wig.

Alice isn’t your typical docile and innocent girl in von Redlich’s production. He has added music from the movie “Sucker Punch” to make the play more contemporary and to give it a more hallucinogenic feeling.

“I want Alice to have some back bone. I don’t want her to be like ‘Oh, help me, I don’t know what’s going on.’ It’s not anti-Disney, it’s more of our sensibilities of today. You know? If you are thrown into a bizarre situation, how would a more normal person react?” von Redlich said.

The show will be on Monday and Tuesday at 7 p.m., and while Tuscaloosa Academy may not have the theater it needs to perform in just yet, in the words of Lewis Carroll in “Alice in Wonderland”: “Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”

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