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Alice In Cyberland” Opens Virtually Thursday At PJC

Paris Junior College’s Drama Department offers the second free virtual performance of the fall semester starting Thursday, Dec. 3. “Alice in Cyberspace,” a one-act production, targets young audiences and families at 7:30 pm on Zoom. They will hold more live virtual shows at 7:30 pm. on Thursday and Friday, Dec. 4-5, and 2:30 pm on Sunday, Dec. 6.

This new adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s “Alice in Wonderland” and “Alice Through the Looking Glass” creates a modern take on the classic as Alice travels through her computer monitor into a fantastic cyber world.

“I’d like people to know what an exciting project this has been,” said PJC Drama Instructor and play director Robyn Huizinga. “We took an old three-act play in the public domain and updated it to a one-act in a modern video game setting. The drama scholarship students all helped adapt the script.

“It’s also been exciting for our current students to work with professionals and PJC drama alumni. We could not have gathered this talented cast together in any way other than virtually. I hope audiences are ready for bright, fun characters and an update on a classic. We hope kids and families get a chance to enjoy the show together.”

In this modern take on the classic, “Alice in Wonderland,” Alice leads an intrepid online RPG (role-playing gaming) party, but everything goes awry when she’s drawn into the online gaming world. She meets a series of wacky NPCs (non-player characters) as she travels across the map to find her way back home to her friends. Will she level up? Find out when you join PJC for “Alice in Cyberspace.”

“It’s been an amazing experience doing theater on a new platform,” said Reyan Luera, who plays DU: M/Tweedle Dee.

According to PJC student Annabel Doss, who plays Alice, there have been many new skills acquired between the first virtual production at PJC earlier in the semester, “Robert’s Universal Robots,” and the current show.

“I’ve had to train one of our cats to do theater and get up on the desk,” said Doss. “It’s been kind of hard, but he’s finally got it down now. In the first production, I learned how to set up my green screen and get the lighting correct to run our virtual backgrounds, and turn the camera on and off on time. Getting energy from other actors has been different because you don’t have them right there with you. In many ways, you’ve got to use more energy on a Zoom call than you would in person. It’s a pretty short play. It’s only about 45 minutes, and it’s full of energy and fun. It’s a great kids show or a family show.”

“It’s a challenge,” said Adam Doss, who alternates with Andy Johnson the roles of Mad Hatter and March Hare, “because you have to create two different characters between Andy Johnson and me, who is playing the other half. We’ve had a lot of fun switching. It’s hard to keep track of which character you are sometimes because we’re in the same scenes together as the characters interact. So you’ve got to make sure you’re on the right lines and the right dialect and everything else, but it’s pretty fun.”

The cast for “Alice in Cyberspace” includes Alice: Annabel Doss; Gryf: Haley Hines-Moody; H@⅀R/Mad Hatter / March Hare: Andy Johnson / Adam Doss (swapping roles per production); DU: M/Tweedle Dum: Reyan Luera; D/Tweedle Dee: Heather Roberts; QU33N33/Queen of Hearts: Samantha Calatozzo-Cobb; Red Queen: Courtney Hampton-Reed; White Queen: Lisa Martin; White Rabbit: Juliana Stalter; Humpty Dumpty: Carlton Bell, Mock Turtle: Hunter Anderson; Dormouse: Colton Reed; Frog Footman: Heather Roberts; Duchess: Will Walker; Cheshire Cat: Michelle Wood; King of Hearts: Brandon McCormick; Knave of Hearts: Kaleb Speakman; Caterpillar: Sarah Elizabeth Cadle; Gardener 2: Carolyn Bell; Gardener 5: Brenna Mills; Gardener 7: Candace Weist; Gardener 10: Kayla Freelen; Computer Voice: Maddy Stucky; Mom Voice: Dr. Pam Anglin; Swings: David Forward and Maddy Stucky.

The crew consists of Connor Kirkley, who serves as background designer/supervisor.

Though free, the virtual audience is limited to 100 for each performance and must register in advance at <>. Those with questions about the performance, the drama program, or drama scholarships available for the upcoming spring semester may contact <>.