A massive cast of youth are getting ready to take to the Capitol Theatre stage Friday night with Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.
The Nelson Youth Theatre production features more than 35 young people taking on roles as strange talking animals, mad hatters, Hearts royalty and, of course, a the curious girl who falls down a rabbit hole.
The star of the show is Zooey Bingham who plays Alice and is no stranger to lead roles. She was Juliet in Juliet and Romeo, Maid Marian in Robin Hood and Maid Marian and Princess Buttercup in Princess Bride.
It’s her fifth show with Nelson Youth Theatre and the 14-year-old says it’s the friendships that keep her coming back.
“I like the people,” she says. “I’ve made some good friends.”
The group meets twice per week for two-hour rehearsals that culminate in a public performance. This is the second time the group has booked the Capitol for their show. Other years they’ve performed in schools or in Gyro Park.
One of the things that makes the Youth Theatre shows unique is that the young people have a hand in every part of the production. They help write the script, direct the show, control the lights and design the costumes and set, along with a dedicated group of parents.
Bingham’s mother, Kyla Hurst, has been busily sewing costumes for the show. Her father, Nick Hurst, wrote the music.
The family also wrote the script for the show, adapting it from 1865 novel by the same name.
Kyla says the show is somewhat darker than the Disney adaptation and the costumes reflect that.
“We went with a steam punk look for all the costumes, with the exception of Alice’s,” she said. “We wanted Alice to stand out as the ‘pure’ little girl in contrast to this nasty world around her.”
The adult director for the show is Jeff Forst, the founder of Nelson Youth Theatre, who has helped bring about two dozen youth productions to the stage over the years, between his own company and working with Homelinks.
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is at Capitol Theatre for one night only — Friday, April 26 at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $7.30 for students and seniors and $19.30 for adults. The audience is encouraged to dress up, and prizes will be awarded for best Wonderland costume.