Groveport Madison High School theater students hope to take audience members on a musical journey Through the Looking Glass March 21-23.
Director Morgan Mulgrew, who teaches English at the high school, said the musical has not been staged by a high school in the United States before. It is a sequel to Lewis Carroll's novel, Alice in Wonderland.
"The difference between Looking Glass and Alice in Wonderland, in a nutshell, is that instead of chasing a rabbit down a hole and falling into a world of playing cards, she falls through the looking glass in her living room and has to cross the chess board to defeat the Red Queen and find her way back home safely," Mulgrew said.
Performances are scheduled at 7 p.m. each evening.
In order to create Alice's make-believe world -- which involves meeting Humpty Dumpty, Tweedledee, Tweedledum, a Jabberwocky, and many chess pieces that come to life -- the show requires many set pieces, including a spectacular staircase, multiple forest pieces, a jail, a fireplace and a giant horse.
About 40 students, including 27 cast members, have been working for several months to learn the big chorus numbers and the choreography, Mulgrew said.
Because the show involves the use of a fog machine, special lighting and other special effects in several scenes, the orchestra pit could not be used for music, so some of the actors have been learning to time their lines and their songs with the pre-recorded music, she said.
GMHS junior Alexandria Goodwin plays the fun-loving Alice. She said learning to time her lines with the music has been challenging, but fun.
"The best part of the show would just have to be everyone coming together when we roll out the big musical numbers," Goodwin said.
Senior Maggie Hutson plays Alice's mother and the White Queen. She said the most challenging part of any show is how actors "mix with the cast -- more than the role itself."
"Most of us are like a family because we've been in previous productions together, so we're doing something that we're passionate about, which makes it fun to do," Hutson said.
For senior Isaiah Stepney, who has played a con artist and bad boy in past shows, the dual role of author Lewis Carroll and the White Knight in Through the Looking Glass, has been a new experience.
He said he hopes the audience enjoys the show and uses the looking glass to see beyond their own lives.
"I think they will learn that there is a hero inside all of us, and we can all do something to help someone," Stepney said.
Tickets for the musical are $10 for reserved seating, $8 for general admission. They can be reserved by calling the high school at 614-863-4964, ext. 321, or they can be purchased at the door.