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Welcome to the first show of our Season of Hope and Homecoming! We are so honored that you’ve chosen to join us on our journey as we explore stories that are inspired by the lessons we learn when we venture out into the world and the feeling of hope when we return back home again. From Alice’s riverbank in London to Dorothy’s farmhouse in Kansas these tales of lost childhood innocence and unquenchable curiosity have found their way into popular culture and the hearts of people all over the world and we are thrilled to be presenting our uniquely Hillsboro Players take on these classic stories.

 

First up is Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland adapted for the stage by Charlotte Chorpenning. Chasing the White Rabbit, Alice tumbles down the rabbit hole into Wonderland. She meets all its famous residents: the Red Queen, the White Queen, Tweedledee and Tweedledum, the Mad Hatter and March Hare, the Frog Footman, the Caterpillar and the White Rabbit. This vignette style telling showcases some of the best moments from both Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass

When conceptualizing this beloved story, I was drawn to the unique Victorian origins of this tale. It has been adapted so many ways by so many people so I turned to the source material and the original Tenniel illustrations of the characters. Working together with my student dramaturg we began to uncover Lewis Carroll’s original intentions for this piece and the production team became inspired by the question, “What did Victorian children do for fun?” Our quest led us to the idea of Victorian puppet theaters and paper dolls, and it was there that our concept began to take shape. What if Alice was watching a shadow puppet show and the rabbit hole led her to the other side of the shadow puppet screen where the once flat shadow puppets came to life? After all, the characters in Wonderland are nothing but a pack of cards!

 

This is a work of imagination, freedom and delight. It’s a poignant story full of nonsense and childlike wonder. It’s also very much concerned with the loss of childhood which is relevant to all of us. For just a few moments, we get to see the world from a child’s eyes as all of the adult characters in Wonderland act like little kids. As a new mother myself, who is only 18 months down the rabbit hole of parenthood, I couldn’t help but see my own curious child in Alice. The more we discovered and worked in rehearsals the clearer it became that curiosity is the stuff of learning. The Wonderland creatures learn just as much from Alice as she learns from them and that is a reminder to all adults that hear this story.

 

The word curious to us today means inquisitive and adventurous, but in the Victorian Era it had another meaning related to the temptation of knowledge and mischief which was then a very dangerous and discouraged concept, especially for little girls like Alice. Today, we know the importance of the quest for Knowledge as well as the importance of cultivating curiosity in children. Alice learns that you cannot be the same person you were yesterday because you were a different person then. Though it is scary to grow and change it is also lovely and important and necessary. 

We are so proud of the students’ work on this production. From the development of these classic characters to their work on the British dialect that this show demands, our students have met every challenge and had a blast doing it. Our cast members have written original songs, created choreography, and given themselves fully to the building of our own version of Wonderland. We are honored to invite you down the rabbit hole with us tonight.

 

We’ve had a sort of homecoming ourselves in recent days, as we begin to christen our new auditorium and what better show to welcome audiences home than this feast for the eyes and spirit! We hope that our production of Alice in Wonderland will delight you and that you’ll leave here a little more curious than you were before. If you enjoy tonight’s show, please encourage your family and friends to join us for our additional performances of this show and for our spring musical, The Wizard of Oz, opening in April. 

-Kristin Butler

CAST

White Rabbit......................................................................Peter Dark

Alice...............................................................................Lainey Hunt

Caterpillar.........................................................................Allen Ware

Duchess....................................................................Virginia Fleming

Cook..........................................................................Maggie Howard

Frog-Footman.........................................................Leonardo Sanchez

March Hare..............................................................Dallas Whitehead

Mad Hatter..................................................................James Eichman

Dormouse.........................................................................Kate Jones

Mock Turtle..................................................................Éowyn Wagner

Gryphon......................................................................Adie Gullahorn

Tweedledee..........................................................................Jeru Hall

Tweedledum................................................................Toby Silverman

King of Hearts...........................................................Zechariah Brown

Knave of Hearts..............................................................Joey Mendez

Red Queen................................................................Mikayla DeBasio

White Queen............................................................Arieanna Rushing

Executioner..............................................................Bernard Simmons

Ensemble.......................................................................Darilyn Finch

Ensemble..................................................................Alexei Khimenko

Ensemble.........................................................................Lily Phillips Ensemble..................................................................Veronica Talbert

Ensemble................................................................Daisy Urbanowicz

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PETER DARK

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LEONARDO SANCHEZ

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ADIE GULLAHORN

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MIKAYLA DEBASIO

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LAINEY HUNT

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DALLAS WHITEHEAD

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JERU HALL

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ARIEANNA RUSHING

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LILY PHILLIPS

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ALLEN WARE

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JAMES EICHMAN

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TOBY SILVERMAN

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BERNARD SIMMONS

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VERONICA TALBERT

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VIRGINIA FLEMING

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KATE JONES

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ZECHARIAH BROWN

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DARILYN FINCH

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DAISY URBANOWICZ

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MAGGIE HOWARD

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ÈOWYN WAGNER

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JOEY MENDEZ

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ALEXEI KHIMENKO

PRODUCTION STAFF

Director..........................................................................Kristin Butler

Producer............................................................................Will Butler

Dramaturg.......................................................................Elsie Spivey

Movement Consultant.....................................................Denise Eason

Production Assistant........................................................Don Griffiths

Stage Managers............................Anna Bigelow, Emma Anne Stephens

Assistant Stage Manager............................................Delaney Fleming

Run Crew.................................................................Sussie Luchembe

Scenic Designer.................................................................Will Butler

Scenic Charge Artist Supervisor...........................................Sara Hyatt

Scenic Charge Artists..............................Dara Gyauch-Lewis, Caroline

High, Jia Howell, Rose Majett, Jadyn Miller, Aly Pittman, Jane Reagan, Naomi Saito, Valintine Soundara, Eden Torode, Ella Torode

Set Crew.......................................................................Sophia Baker,

Lauren Birdwell, Tilly Gershbein, Dock Havey, Sadie Hord, Kendall Murray, Sophia Phoebus, Aly Pittman, Clara Thorsen

Costume Designers............................Jessica Eichman, Jennifer Kleine

Costume Crew Chief...........................................................Avery Roth

Costume Crew...........................................................Quinn Merryman,

Cosette Sullenberger, Paula Ruiz, Samantha Rittenberg

Costume Volunteers................Brooke Bell, Sarah Dark, Amy

Fleming, Emily Gershbein, Kyla O’Neal, Rachael Phillips, Anna Saterstrom, Mary Shelton, Holly Shepherd, Shannon Smith, Bonnie Wagner, Amy Ware, Elaine Williams, Keisha Williams, Candace Wouters

Alice Wig Designer.....................................................Cassie Hamilton

Wonderland Wigs Designer.........................................Jessica Eichman

Makeup/Wig Crew Chief...............................................Farrah Northern

Makeup/Wig Crew..............................................AJ Wood, Ava Thorsen

Specialty Prop Design............................Christine Hall, Shannonn Whitt

Props Mistress.................................................................Elsie Spivey

Props Crew................................................................Amanda Shelton

Lighting Designer..........................................................Richard Davis

Light Crew Chief/Board Operator...................................Kendall Murray

Light Crew.......................................................................Jonah Smith

Original Music...........................................Peter Dark, James Eichman

Sound Editor................................................................Toby Silverman

Sound Crew Chief...........................................................Rain Bridges

Sound Crew...............................................................Miontrey Phillips

Puppet Design and Consultation...........................................Brian Hull

Hospitality Coordinators.........................Jill Gullahorn, Rachael Phillips

House Manager.............................................................Kyndall Brisco

Ushers...................................................................Jennifer Barragan,

Lauren Birdwell, Sadie Hord, Tilly Gershbein, Sophia Phoebus, Clara Thorsen

Production Photographer...................................................Kyla O'Neal

Production Videographer...............................................Jonathan Giles

Promotional Materials Designer................................................MA2LA 

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ELSIE SPIVEY

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KRISTIN BUTLER

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ANNA BIGELOW

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WILL BUTLER

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EMMA ANNE STEPHENS

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DELANEY FLEMING

SENIOR REFLECTIONS

Adie Gullahorn (Gryphon)

I’ve been participating in Players shows since my freshman year. My first show with the Butlers was Rock of Ages, and I was terrified. Working in productions with them has been a privilege, and I say privilege because of how talented, passionate, and invested both Kristin and Will are in the Players. I still can’t believe they adopt thirty kids into their family every year with one already perfect child. I mean, have you seen Elliott? I have learned so much from all the wonderful adults in charge here, and have thoroughly enjoyed my time in both the cast and tech crew. I am incredibly grateful for everything that the Butlers have put into these shows (and me), and feel hopeful that you’ll be able to see the hard work that we’ve all put into Alice in Wonderland- especially my senior friends :)

Arieanna Rushing (White Queen)
 

As my high school years come to a close and I reflect on the things that have made my time at Hillsboro special, I always find myself reflecting most over my experience as a Hillsboro Player. When I joined this program as a freshman I certainly had no idea that the Players would serve as this amazing community that would go on to be the highlight of my high school career. My
experience as a Player has been filled with enough amazing memories to last a lifetime. I am so thankful to have been surrounded by so many talented people through the years and have learned so much from each and every player that I’ve encountered. To Mr. and Mrs. Butler, thank you so much for this opportunity. Because of this community I am not only a better artist but also a better person. I am forever grateful.

Elsie Spivey (Dramaturg/Props Mistress)

When I joined the Hillsboro Players this year as a senior, I was nervous that I would be out of touch with the community, but I could not have been more wrong. I was immediately welcomed, and it has been a joy to grow creatively with this group of people-- I’ve learned so much from everyone, and have been given opportunities to grow creatively and generally as a person through this experience because of the wonderful people I’ve shared it with. There’s something incredibly inspiring about people coming together to make a piece of art, and something even more special about having a community get closer along the way. 

 

Emma Anne Stephens (Stage Manager)
 

I joined the Hillsboro Players to do tech during my Junior year when I realized how much I had missed doing theatre during middle school. At first I was nervous because I hadn’t participated in theatre in so long. Despite my nerves, I was welcomed with open arms and found how much I truly enjoy working on tech. For Alice I have been fortunate enough to be a Stage Manager which has allowed me to see this amazing show come together from beginning to end. This role has allowed me to truly explore the different facets of theatre and take on projects which I would have felt uncomfortable taking on without the confidence of the Butlers and my fellow Players behind me. I’m really proud of all that we have put into this production and grateful for the amount I have learned from this experience.

Lainey Hunt (Alice)

 

I started my journey with the Players in 2019, when I was one of three freshmen in Follies. I had just finished the marching band season, and finally had an opportunity to be a part of the Players. Since I was 12, I dreamt about acting on the Hillsboro stage, and it was everything I had hoped it to be. I felt so comfortable and so much joy that when the next year came around, I quit the band and auditioned for the fall play. Since Follies, I have gotten to be a part of 3 other shows and loved every second of them. The excellence and high standards that the Players have is unique, and all that I learned will stay with me. In playing Alice, I hope to inspire others to act and make their dreams come true too! 

 

Mikayla DeBasio (Red Queen)
 

If there were two words to describe my experience with the Players they would be “That’s speed.” Every year it would feel as if the experience, the mentorship, the friendship, and fun could never end and now here we are. I have found a side of myself in this program that I pushed to the background more than I thought I ever would. The Butlers have constantly challenged what a performer should be and with them at the forefront of my experience I have learned a performer's job is, of course, to tell the story but also to work as a team, listen closely, be supportive, and do hard work with a smile. Grateful for every chance they have given me, the Butlers and the Hillsboro Players will forever be a meaningful and unforgettable part of my high school experience.

 

Virginia Fleming (Duchess)
 

Although I have not been a Hillsboro Player for very long, every moment I have spent in the program has been extremely influential, even life-changing. Theatre has acted as a creative outlet and safe haven for me for the last three years. It gave me something to look forward to at the end of each long day. This light at the end of the tunnel has now enveloped my entire life. The family I have found through the Players has made me feel truly accepted for the first time. The players have been a part of me through the hardest years of my life. I will be eternally grateful for the program that gives me hope and joy daily.

THANKS TO OUR SPONSORS

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