A whimsical meeting between two of literature’s most beloved characters, Dorothy from Wizard of Oz and Alice from Alice in Wonderland, unfolds in Schaumburg High School’s production of the aptly named, Dorothy Meets Alice, this weekend.
Performances take place at 7 p.m. tonight and Friday, and at 2 p.m. Saturday. Purchase tickets, here.
The one-act play produces hilarious results as the audience becomes reacquainted with the cast of familiar characters and sees them in a whole new light: the Cowardly Lion, the White Rabbit, the Tin Man, the Mad Hatter, the Scarecrow, the Dormouse, the Queen and the Witch from these enduring classics.
The play was written in 1990 and was the choice of first-year director, Amber Rysavy. She, too, was drawn to the show’s magical premise and she figured students would be too. She was right.
“The thing that is so special about this show is the way loveable characters from two iconic movies and books interact with one another,” Rysavy says. “These well-known characters have their own established characteristics and emotions, so the actors get to have fun interacting with each other during the show.”
She also describes the show’s production aspects as fun.
“For the set, the only guidance we had from the script is that it takes place in the Tulgey Wood, which is a land between Oz and Wonderland,” Rysavy describes. “We got to decide how the entire set looked. We wanted to bring in aspects of Oz and Wonderland from the movies, so we separated our stage into thirds so we could pay homage to the setting of each movie, while also incorporating Tulgey Wood between the two worlds.”
Costuming these iconic characters proved to be another challenge but one that they overcame, between rental companies and other costume sources.
When Rysavy announced the show, she didn’t know what to expect. After all, she took over from two longtime veterans, Lauren Kern and Jamie MIcheletto, and the one-act was brand new to students. Not to worry. Students were really excited for it, she says.
“There was a general consensus that bringing two huge movies together in one play was exciting and new,” says Rysavy, an EL teacher at Schaumburg High, who also moderates the Ukranian Club and helps coach the flags team.
“During auditions, I could feel how eager they all were,” she says. “The students that were selected to play the characters in our show have been working so hard to bring such iconic characters to life. They want to pay respect to the original characters while also trying to make it their own, and I think everything they have done is really going to make this show special.”