Phantomwise: the story behind the story

5th Company Lane puts on a captivating production

Madison Horton (far left), who plays the role of Alice, and her fellow co-stars in action.
Madison Horton (far left), who plays the role of Alice, and her fellow co-stars in action.

With the enchanting set of all white drapery and girls twirling around 18th-century ball gowns, it was easy to for the audience to get lost in the magical world of Alice in 5th Company Lane’s production of Phantomwise.

Themes of coming of age, relationships and a world of fantasy versus reality, this spin on Lewis Carroll’s famed tale of Alice in Wonderland was executed with both whimsy and passion by the cast members.

Traditional acting dialogue was coupled with interpretive dance, creating an impactful and intriguing delivery. The fast-paced storyline and in the visual elements and actions that took place on stage made it hard to look away or lose interest.

Since most actors played multiple roles, the reassembling of characters caused a little confusion. At times, it could be hard to keep track of which actor was playing who at what time.

But overall, the delivery of the lines and the movements made the characters believable and breathed life into the story.

The play, which mostly focused on both the real and fantasy life of 11-year-old Alice Liddell (played by Madison Horton), included an exploration of her infamously suspicious friendship with Alice in Wonderland author Lewis Carroll (played by Jacob Millar) that has been under scrutiny for centuries.

The production team, including executive producer Devon Jackson, ArtSci ’15, was excited to see all their behind-the-scenes hard work come to fruition.

“My job is to make sure the show goes up and is publicized well and people know what it’s all about and buy tickets. I have to get people excited to see the show,” Jackson said.

“Essentially, this story is the real story behind Alice in Wonderland. The story behind the story.”

Allie Gottlieb, ArtSci ’16, who is the head of publicity for the show, stressed that putting on an all-student run production is not a walk in the park, but she believes that all the hard work pays off come opening night.

“One of the biggest struggles is the commitment of time that people who act in the plays have to schoolwork and other things. Since most of the actors are in the drama department many of them are doing other shows and are very involved with several productions,” she said.

“What really makes it worth it is the passion students have for this which permits for a beautiful and striking show. 5th Company Lane is known for putting on risk taking and heartfelt shows.”

Phantomwise runs in Theological Hall today and tomorrow at 8 p.m.


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