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Two Harbors High School Presents “Alice in Wonderland”

On May 28th and 30th, students from Two Harbors High School, with a small supporting cast from Minnehaha Elementary, presented Al­ice in Wonderland, a play adapted from Lewis Carroll’s children’s classic Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. The play was written by Jason Pizarello, a playwright, author, and logistics of­ficer with the New York Army National Guard.

Alice in Wonderland opens with Alice (played by Annelise Smith) and her older sister (Natalie Tillich) sitting by a river. Alice’s sister reads a book contentedly, but Alice skips around, bored. She begs her sister to play with her, but her sister refuses, continuing to read. Annoyed and tired, Alice lays down to take a nap, but just then sees a White Rabbit (Caroline Selvog), dressed prop­erly and checking a pocket watch. “Oh, my ears and whiskers! Oh, my fur! Oh, my dear paws. How late it’s getting!” The White Rabbit ex­claims. Curious, Alice gets up and follows the Rabbit. She falls through a rabbit hole and finds the White Rabbit again, still hurrying around, this time exclaiming, “Oh, the Queen, the Queen!” Alice attempts to question the White Rabbit, but the Rabbit is too frantic and drops her gloves before leaving. Just then, another girl appears, Second Alice (Maren Stipe), who looks just like Alice. Confused, Alice determines to find out where she is and what is happening.

Alice approaches a house, from which there is a tremendous racket. She knocks on the door, but no one answers. Finally, an Old Squir­rel (Zoe Bielinski) wanders over and questions Alice, but the Squirrel doesn’t make sense. Still frustrated, Alice stares at the door, when sud­denly a Fish-Footman (Toby McDonald) runs up and knocks loudly on the door. It opens, to Alice’s surprise, to reveal a Frog-Footman (Ho­sanna Bielinski). The Fish-Footman presents the Frog-Footman with an invitation from the Queen of Hearts to the Duchess to play croquet. Alice interrupts the two Footmen, asking how to get inside the house – which she now knows to be the Duchess’. The Footmen don’t give her a straight answer, but then Second Alice appears and just enters the house, and Alice follows her.

Inside, the Duchess (Silvia Scherer) sits, nurs­ing a baby, while a Cook (Maddie Linn) makes soup. A Cheshire Cat (Zander Lucas) sits on a rug, grinning. Alice sneezes, and exclaims that there is too much pepper in the Cook’s soup, then asks the Duchess about the Cheshire Cat’s grin. The Duchess replies that all Cheshire Cats grin, then looks at the “baby” with horror, seem­ing to realize for the first time that the “baby” is a piglet. She hands the piglet to Alice, who takes it and leaves, freeing the piglet to go outside. “Curi­ouser and curiouser,” says Alice.

Outside, Alice sees the Cheshire Cat again, and asks for directions. The Cheshire Cat tells her that she can either go right to visit the Mad Hatter or left to visit the March Hare. “Visit if you like,” he says. “They’re both mad.”

“But I don’t want to be around mad people,” Alice protests.

“Oh, you can’t help that,” the Cheshire Cat re­sponds. “We’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.”

The Cheshire Cat vanishes, and Alice decides to go see the March Hare. When she arrives, she sees the March Hare (Cecilia Scherer) hav­ing tea with the Mad Hatter (Nathan Holbeck). A Dormouse (Lucy Beck) is also at the table, sleeping. Alice attempts to converse with the Hatter and the Hare, but their conversation is nonsense. Second Alice appears, but the Hatter and the Hare yell at her that there is no room for another guest. Frightened, Second Alice runs off, and Alice chases her.

Alice comes to a high, narrow wall, upon which sits Humpty Dumpty (Kory Beck). She attempts conversation with Humpty Dumpty, but he is in a foul mood and is of no assistance – except to explain what an unbirthday is. Alice leaves, and hears a crash. Soldiers (Caleb Nelson, Ava Kussatz, Vivi Foley, and Nevaeh Detlefson) run across the stage, followed by the White Knight (Toby McDonald). The White Knight experienc­es much difficulty staying on her horse, and fi­nally asks Alice if she’s ever heard of the Jabber­wocky. Upon replying in the negative, the White Knight proceeds to tell the poem, as it is acted out behind Alice and the Knight.

The Jabberwocky is a huge puppet manned by five people – Zoe Bielinski, Caleb Nelson, Ava Kussatz, Vivi Foley, and Neveah Detlefson. The poem tells the story of a Young Knight (Addison Blaisdell) fighting the fearsome Jabberwocky. After the poem, the White Knight falls asleep, and Alice continues on her journey.

Alice comes to a garden, and looks wistfully at the Tiger-Lily (Veda Swanton). She express­es her wish that the Tiger-Lily could talk, when, to her surprise, Tiger-Lily answers. Alice speaks with Tiger-Lily, as well as the other flowers – Rose (Silvia Scherer) and the Daisies (Parker Byrns and Hazel Chalupsky). Tiger-Lily tells her of Tweedle-Dum and Tweedle-Dee, and Alice goes to see them.

Tweedle-Dee (Lucy Beck) and Tweedle-Dum (Cecilia Scherer) speak with Alice for a few moments, before deciding they must fight each other. Alice watches as Tweedle-Dee and Twee­dle-Dum prepare for battle. To get them to stop fighting, Alice pretends a monstrous crow is coming for them, and it scares Dee and Dum. Alice then leaves, and comes across a Caterpil­lar (Nathan Holbeck). The Caterpillar asks Alice who she is, and she replies, “I – I hardly know, sir, just at present – at least I knew who I was when I got up this morning, but I think I might have changed since then.” After a rather confus­ing conversation with the Caterpillar, Alice asks for advice on the next stage of her journey, and the Caterpillar recommends that she visit the Mock Turtle. When she inquires where to find the Mock Turtle, the Caterpillar tells her that the Gryphon knows.

Alice finds the Gryphon (Hosanna Bielinski) and asks where the Mock Turtle is. The Gryphon tells her to listen for the sound of sobbing, and it leads both Alice and the Gryphon to the Mock Turtle (Vivian Olson). The Mock Turtle tells Al­ice about herself and her school days, and fin­ishes by singing “Turtle Soup” very loudly and mournfully. Second, Alice joins them, and when she leaves, Alice follows.

Alice comes to a garden full of rose-trees with white roses, and three gardeners (Addison Blais­dell, Veda Swanton, and Toby McDonald) are painting the white roses red. The gardeners are playing cards, and inform Alice that the Queen of Hearts wanted red roses, not white, and they fear the Queen will have them beheaded. Suddenly, the Queen of Hearts (Zoe Bielinski) arrives, ac­companied by playing card soldiers, the White Rabbit, and the King of Hearts (Kory Beck). Af­ter ordering “Off with their heads!” to the gar­deners, the Queen informs Alice that she will be joining her for croquet.

By now, Alice knows to expect confusion, so she takes the flamingo she’s given to use as a mallet without question, nor does she question the use of hedgehogs for croquet balls. When the game turns disastrous, the Queen yells “Off with their heads!” to everyone. The Duchess arrives and speaks to Alice, but Alice is even more con­fused by what the Duchess tries to say. A trumpet sounds, and Alice watches as a courtroom is set up, with the Knave of Hearts (Vivian Olson) in chains and ready to be tried for theft of the Queen of Heart’s tarts.

The King of Hearts presides over the court, and all the individuals Alice has met along that way are the jury and witnesses. The trial begins, but it does not follow proper order, much to Al­ice’s annoyance. The Queen is intent on having the Knave convicted, and as the mad trial wraps up, the King says, “Fine, then, let the jury con­sider their verdict.”

“No, no! Sentence first – verdict afterwards,” the Queen of Hearts protests.

“Stuff and nonsense!” Alice cries. “The idea of having the sentence first!”

The Queen orders Alice to be beheaded, but Alice has realized that the Queen, King, and sol­diers are all just playing cards, and knows she doesn’t need to listen to them any longer. Sec­ond Alice has come into the courtroom, and she and Alice run away.

Second Alice comes to the riverbank where Alice’s sister still reads. She lays down, and falls asleep with her head in Alice’s sister’s lap. Al­ice’s sister awakens her, and Second Alice tells her about a dream, and about Wonderland.

Alice watches, confused, and a little fright­ened that her sister doesn’t know the difference between her and Second Alice. “I know I am me,” Alice says. “Or, at least a version of me. Myself, I mean. A version that no longer exists.”

Alice’s sister tells Second Alice to get ready for tea, and Second Alice runs off. After Second Alice leaves, the White Rabbit hurries past. Al­ice’s sister sees the Rabbit this time, and goes to follow her. Alice runs after her sister.

The play concluded with rousing applause. The director thanked attendees for supporting theater and keeping school theater programs alive. Other thank yous were given to families and friends of the cast, Joelle Murray, North Shore Lumber, Amy and Erick Bergeson, Esko High School, Two Harbors High School staff and administrators, Minnehaha staff and admin­istrators, anonymous donors, and Iris Cannon for her work with the lights and sound.

Nevaeh Detlefsen, who played a soldier and manned part of the Jabberwocky puppet, said of her experience, “I enjoyed getting to react to dif­ferent things and letting people have the chance to be entertained.”

Haley Searls
Haley Searls
Hello! My name is Haley Searls. I’ve loved writing from an early age, though my nonfiction writing at five years old consisted mainly of weather and gardening reports. I still have some of those early articles: “It’s sunny.” “It’s still sunny.” “It’s raining.” I’m glad to say my writing has improved since then. I wrote a guest post for the Silver Bay Public Library blog, and was the writer/editor of the newsletter for my American Heritage Girls troop. I have been writing for the North Shore Journal since June 2022. Besides writing, I love reading, drawing, photography, music, and spending time with family and friends. Two books that have really influenced my writing are Reforming Journalism by Marvin Olasky and Writer to Writer by Bodie and Brock Thoene. As a journalist, I want to share positive community interactions and inspire people to make lasting connections. Article topics that interest me are ones which show community activities and involvement. Such articles include community events, youth accomplishments, library programming, small businesses, local history, local artists and authors, art programs, and cultural events such as theater and dance. If you have an article idea, email the North Shore Journal with my name in the subject line! I look forward to hearing from you!
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