Westerville News & Public Opinion

Westerville Central to present 'Alice' with '60s twist


Alice will be joined in Wonderland this weekend by icons of the 1960s, including Jim Morrison and Phyllis Diller.

The Westerville Central High School Theatre Department will present the Lewis Carroll classic at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 22-24, at the school, 7118 Mount Royal Ave.

Central has put its own take on Alice in Wonderland by setting Wonderland in the psychedelic '60s and giving classic characters '60s-icon counterparts.

Central Theatre Director Hillary Billups said the idea was born from a desire to freshen up a well-known tale usually set in the Victorian Era, as it was written.

"I wanted to go a different way, maybe a way people haven't seen ever or haven't seen for a while," Billups said.

Putting a different twist on the tale and incorporating cultural references also adds some interest for adults, who often are left out as Wonderland audience members, Billups said.

"Sometimes when Alice is done, it's geared just toward children," Billups said. "With this show, because it's in the '60s, (it) appeals to adults."

Kids aren't left out, however.

"Because it's Alice, it's the characters kids know and love," Billups said.

Cast members said they've enjoyed taking on a different view of a popular tale.

"I think it's really cool. It's different, and I've never seen it done this way," said senior Meredith Morse, who portrays the Mad Hatter.

Sophomore Patrick Petrilla, who plays the White Rabbit and Lewis Carroll, said Alice in Wonderland and the look and feel of the 1960s work together.

"Alice in Wonderland set in the 1960s just seems perfect to me," Petrilla said.

The costumes are fun and colorful, as are the sets, and the quirkiness of the actors is echoed in the zaniness of the characters, Petrilla said.

"The nature of the actors fits a lot of the characters so well," he said. "The quirkiness of the actors fits our characters and play off of each other very well."

Senior Haley Golaszewski said the oddball nature of the play has been fun for the cast and crew to take on, and she's sure that audience members will capture that feeling, as well.

"It is the most fun show you will see this season," Golaszewski said. "It's fun for everyone."