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Wonderland Curtain Rises At EHS
After countless rehearsals, perfecting dance moves, memorizing lines, creating the set and getting the musical accompaniment in place, Escalon High School is ready to stage 'Wonderland' this weekend.

The story follows the adventures of Alice, portrayed by EHS student Taylor Carnes, as she goes on a journey of self-seeking and self-expression in her quest to become a queen.

Producer is Dixie Tirre, who said the production is based on but is different from the traditional Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass stories. Tirre is head of the math department at EHS but is involved in theater outside of school, singing barbershop and active in other musical pursuits.

"It's a take off of Alice in Wonderland but she's going to meet people she didn't meet in the original, like Humpty Dumpty, Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum," Tirre said. "We are blessed to have Taylor Carnes, she is an accomplished vocalist who has been in many professional productions in the area."

Others, said Tirre, are taking the stage for the first time so the show has veterans and newcomers alike. However, that's what she feels is part of its charm.

"I'm excited that we have some kids that have never tried this before, for some of them it's pretty much their first time on stage singing," she explained. "We're also working with a live band for the first time, doing some very interesting things.

"We're taking some risks and some of them will pay off, some of them probably not."

Over 40 kids are involved and the curtain times are Friday, April 15 and Saturday, April 16 at 6:30 p.m., Sunday, April 17 at 2 p.m.

The box office will be open for ticket sales 45 minutes prior to curtain time for each performance. Cost is $8 for adults, $6 for children under 12 and senior citizens. The show is appropriate for all ages.

Serving as director is Emily Stevens, with musical director Jordyn Boyd and stage manager Michael Stevens, Emily's brother. Helping with the set design were EHS alum and stage veterans Matt Teixeira and Dakota Bowers, donating several hours of their time and lending expertise.

"The creative team got together before Christmas," Tirre said, looking for a fun production, with music, creative staging and more.

"Based on feasibility and appeal, this was what we liked the best," she said.

The play runs about two hours total for the two acts and an intermission. It includes plenty of music, from some gentle songs to rap to a little bit of country thrown in for good measure.

"Some of the people Alice meets try to help her," Tirre said. "Some try not to help her, and she is learning as she goes."

Overall, said Tirre, the effort has been a good experience all the way around and the cast and crew are ready for their debut.

"I think what I like the best is watching kids try to do something they weren't sure they could do," Tirre summed up. "To see them learn and grow ... now they're ready to do it with some confidence."