Fei & Milton Wong Experimental Theatre,
Goldcorp Centre for the Arts, SFU Woodwards, Vancouver, BC
Written by Marc Diamond; Directed by Penelope Stella; Lighting by Barry Hegland; Costumes by Carmen Alatorre; Performance design by Greg Snider.
This play, a free adaptation combining elements from Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, (in 29 scenes and nearly 4 hours running time) was a long-term project developed by Marc Diamond and Penelope Stella of SFU's School for the Contemporary Arts Theatre program, who worked together on the script up until his death in November of 2005. The text was completed by Penelope Stella and her brother Jon, and the production was mounted in the spring of 2011 after a lengthy research and rehearsal process.
The play features eight young women simultaneously playing the Alices, showing a heterogenous and more complex coming-of-age than could be represented through a single actor. The overall thematic of the work details the progressive tribulations faced by every Alice who struggles to make her own life and achieve independence. As she works her way into show business, the familiar supporting characters from the Alice stories now become talent agents, photographers, directors, producers, publicists, boyfriends, parents and others who appear as figures she must reckon with as her career unfolds and her sense of self matures.
To accommodate the work's complexity, a large-scale mobile abstract set was devised using a commercial truss system, arranged in three open 12' x 12' frames (one of which contained a projection screen) radiating from a central core. Mounted on hidden casters, the entire set could be quickly and easily rotated by cast members for resetting between scenes, and was strong enough for highly physical and acrobatic work.