A wonderland for youth opportunity

ALICE IN WONDERLAND: Brandon Hoskin, Ayeisha Everett, Aislynn Everett, Ebony Tizio, Lucy Duffield, Brianna Pisani and Clem Stanley.
ALICE IN WONDERLAND: Brandon Hoskin, Ayeisha Everett, Aislynn Everett, Ebony Tizio, Lucy Duffield, Brianna Pisani and Clem Stanley.

Port Pirie’s Youth Theatre are entering their final week of preparation for this year’s show, Alice in Wonderland. 

The cast made of 28 students completed auditions back in February and have since been working all year to craft the full-running stage production. 

The story follows Alice who whilst sitting under a tree sees the White Rabbit hurry down a rabbit hole. Alice follows the White Rabbit into Wonderland, where she has a series of marvelously imaginative adventures.

At one of their final rehearsals before they head to the Northern Festival Centre, Tarina Everett, co-director of of the production gave a little insight to what the students have been working at over the past months. 

The youth theatre have been performing in Port Pirie for many years now but this is only the second year that Tarina and her husband Scott have co-directed a production for the theatre group. 

Last year the two directors, cast and crew brought Seussical the musical to the stage and it provided such a challenge to their singing, dancing and acting members that they did not want to sway from that. 

“We were looking for something that was nice and light, bright and happy, but would still challenge the kids. We wanted to do something where they could play some unusual style characters”, Mrs Everett explained.

All members went through the audition process with the choice of nominating whether they would like a speaking or singing role, and what they performed was determined by their choices. 

Yet Mrs Everett says that many performers are very shy when they come to the auditions but once they complete the audition, they surprise themselves at what they actually can do. 

“Some of them are so scared when they come to auditions and they come along and really surprise themselves because they have just never done it before, or they see their friends up there the previous year and say ‘ oh I really want to do that’ and they have just never had the opportunity to do it before”, Mrs Everett said.

“We have a lot of kids that are not necessarily interested in the sport side of things and I think this is a great opportunity for them to be doing something physical because they have the dancing and acting side of it, but it gives them an outlet for their other creative side.”

For the past two months the cast have been ahead of schedule, rehearsing the show from beginning to end and now they are at the pointy end, moving into production week. 

Mrs Everett says usually at this time it is mayhem but the students they have are incredibly talented and have been able to pull the show together so quickly, that it should be smooth sailing from here.  

“The kids are very confident with the running of the show so now it is getting into the theatre, familiarising themselves with the different size of the stage compared to where we have been rehearsing.”

“We have a few costume rehearsals to make sure things are going to fall off or get in the way. Production week is really quite exciting but it can be hectic as well, but we try to make it as much fun as we can.”

Lead actress, Ebony Tizio is playing Alice and says that she is holding it together but is still nervous as this will be the first time she will be playing a lead role. 

“I started in Year 3, but I hadn’t done much since the first show. Back in 2016, I started doing some more shows for musical theatre and I have been doing one show a year at least ever since”, Ebony said.

“I am feeling nervous because it is my first lead role, but I feel like it will be alright, I am holding it together.”

Ebony has found the musical process one of great reward, especially as she has made so many friends throughout the process. But she also enjoys the choice of musical, which makes the characters a lot of fun to portray. 

“Alice is quite easily distracted and that is how she gets from one scene to another. She is a daydreamer and she can get quite easily angered, a bit short tempered. I feel like there is a little bit of me in her because she is a child and she still has those child thoughts and I feel like I am a bit of a day dreamer sometimes.”

Alice in Wonderland will be performed this week and tickets are available for purchase

Shows

  • Friday September 21, 11 am
  • Friday September 21, 7.30pm 
  • Saturday September 22, 7.30pm

Costs

  • Adults: $22
  • Concession: $17
  • Youth under 17: $17