Fort Bend ISD annual Middle School One Act Play Festival featured five plays on Saturday, February 18, at Austin High School. The following week, Sartartia Middle School took their award winning one-act dramatization of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass – ALICE by Jerome McDonaugh to the stage at SMS. In SMS’s version of Alice’s trip down the rabbit hole, SMS students bring to life the Cheshire Cat (Ava Sanjana), the Queen of Hearts (Grace Kuperman/Christine Hernandez ), the Caterpillar (Kasey Vuong-awarded All Star Cast), the royal cardsmen and, of course, Alice (Haley Garrelts-awarded All Star Cast/Valerie Gray) and the White Rabbit(Natasha Muppala –awarded Honorable Mention All Star Cast).
This one-act play is distinguished by the inventive manner with which Jerome McDonough handles Alice’s various changes in size and the numerous changes of setting. Mrs. Megan Wallace, SMS Theatre Teacher, had this to say about the experience, “I have always loved the mystery and creative chaos in Alice in Wonderland and Alice Through the Looking Glass. I have dreamed of doing this show for a long time and have finally been able to do it! I could not have asked for a better group of kids to do this show.”
Not only did the SMS cast attempt to involve the audience in the experience of the adventures; they also involved the audience in making a difference in their community. All the proceeds from the performances are being donated to the Parks Youth Ranch. Parks Youth Ranch is a non-profit organization serving at risk and homeless youth by providing a safe, supportive and structured environment to address a variety of family situations. “It was a goal to use one of our plays as a fundraiser for a charity this year. When we learned about Parks Youth Ranch and their mission to help homeless teens, it just seemed to fit. In the books and the play, Alice struggles with finding her way and finding herself; the kids at the ranch are also struggling to find their way. We know from literature, Alice will find her way to the garden, will not lose her head and emerges from her dream changed. We hope that our contribution helps the kids at the ranch do the same,” says Mrs. Wallace. Life, what is it, but a dream? is how Alice ends but the SMS Theatre Department’s donation of $1,888.15 will make keep the dream alive for some many teenagers and give then a hope for tomorrow.
Mrs. Linda Shultz, executive director of the Parks Youth Ranch, said “The teenagers who come to the center think they have no champions looking out for them. But I have learned, as witnessed at the SMS play that is not true. There is an army of people who care including kids their own age. The $1888.15 you raised through your production of Alice will be used for recreational outings, sport equipment, clothing and other personal items.”