A Peek into 'Alice: A Journey Through Wonderland Debuting Tonight Through the Weekend

The Talk in 60010
June 22, 2017

Over the past year, the recently established Parker Playhouse has cemented itself as a center of community theater in Barrington.

With an upcoming production titled Alice: A Journey Through Wonderland, Living60010 took the time to talk with Ellen Werksman Smith, one of the Playhouse's artistic directors and Alice's choreographer.

We peered through the looking-glass to discover what Barrington Community Theatre's production of the classic tale has to offer to audiences.

Living60010: What can audiences expect from Barrington Community Theatre's take on Alice's classic story?

Werksman Smith: Audiences can expect a colorful, magical and one of a kind experience every time they come see a Barrington Community Theatre production. We pride ourselves in taking a unique perspective on all of our presentations. They are often filled with original songs, custom-designed scripting, and choreography tailored specifically for each production. This production of Alice: A Journey Through Wonderland is no exception. There are so many breathtaking moments. This is not the typical Alice.

Audience members will experience a Tea Party like no other, in which the Mad Hatter exemplifies the spirit of rock 'n' roll. Each character in this performance will surprise and delight audiences of all ages.

Living60010: What goes into a typical rehearsal at the Playhouse?

Werksman Smith: Each of the directors of the performance has their specific role, but when it comes down to the final process and we're all in rehearsals, we work together as a collaborative team, including the performers as well.

It's a creative process in which the cast and directors are in constant collaboration, all working toward a single goal: to produce a fabulous performance for everyone!

Living60010: Are there any particular characters we should keep an eye on during the performance?

Werksman Smith: The Mad Hatter sees himself as a rock 'n' roll diva, while the Caterpillar is aloof and mysterious. Many of the characters are non-traditional and each has its own perspective on life in Wonderland.

Living60010: How has the Parker Playhouse grown over its first year of being open and how do you see it changing in the future?

Werksman Smith: The Playhouse has gained so much more community support, not only in audience attendance, but also with additional support and recognition from various organizations such as the Barrington Junior Women's Club, the Barrington Area Community Foundation, and many others. We are attracting larger audiences, and we are building our performance repertoire as well as expanding the base of performers, actors, and dancers that are engaged in our presentations.

As time has gone on, we've attracted participants from several local dance studios, choral groups, as well as those hoping to gain additional performance experiences.Last year during our summer presentation, we even had performers in from Wisconsin! We hope to continue to grow as we continue to be creative!

Living60010: What shows and performances do we have to look forward to after Alice?

Werksman Smith: We are currently working on productions of: Odd Couple, Eloise, Kris Kringle's Holiday Hullabaloo (a holiday favorite) and a few other surprises. We kick off our fall season in August with a performance by Robby Kipferl who portrayed "Elvis" in Million Dollar Quartet in Chicago. To keep up to date with our productions, we encourage audiences to follow us on Facebook or to check out our website at www.parkerplayhousebarrington.org

Living60010: Lastly (and probably most importantly), when & where is the production and how much are tickets?

Werksman Smith: Currently, we're already sold out for our performances Thursday and Friday evening. The remaining available performances are on June 24th & 25th, with performances at 1 p.m., 4 p.m., and 7:30 p.m. both days.

Tickets are $20 each for any of the performances, and we're located in Suite 3 of 117 E. Northwest Hwy in Barrington. Those wishing to attend can check out www.parkerplayhousebarrington.org to view ticket prices and availability over the next few days.