Caroline Maxwell is no stranger to musical theatre. She has been in the Fairmont State University Town & Gown productions of “The Music Man” and “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer.” She also played a large role in the FSU Academy for the Arts production of “The King of Little Things.” However, Maxwell’s newest role is her biggest challenge to date. An eighth-grader at Barrackville Elementary/Middle School, she is playing Alice in the Academy’s production of “Alice in Wonderland Jr.” The show runs in Wallman Hall Theatre on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 6 and 7, at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 8, at 2 p.m. Tickets can be purchased by contacting the Box Office at (304) 367-4240.
“I’ve always loved this story,” Maxwell said. “I have dressed as Alice three times for Halloween.”
Her sister, Jocelyn Maxwell, is in the show, too, as Tweedle-Dum. Tweedle-Dee is played by Bella Smith. Caroline and Jocelyn Maxwell are the daughters of Ben and Chesney Maxwell of Fairmont.
The plot is loosely based on the writings of Lewis Carroll, and much of the music is from the Disney movie “Alice in Wonderland.” In the story, Alice meets a white rabbit (Billy Tobin), a Cheshire cat (Sara Campbell) and a mad hatter (Trenda Ridgeway). Alice is caught up in a misunderstanding about red roses and is placed on trial by the Queen of Hearts (Sophia Flower). With the help of the caterpillar (Sidney Apanowicz), Alice discovers her true identity.
Rounding out the cast are young people from the area: Franchesca Aloi as Rose and Mathilda, Alice’s sister; Jasper Brown as the doorknob and King of Hearts; Mariana Jones as the Dodo, Daisy and a Card; Sydney King as a Rock Lobster, Petunia and Card; Miranda Koch as a Rock Lobster, Lily and Card; Paige Kreck as a Rock Lobster and Violet; Riliegh Fortney as the march hare; and Sophia Flower as the Queen of Hearts.
“I’m very grateful for the opportunity to work with these young people,” said Director Lakyn Arrick. “They are really talented students, and I am so excited to share what we have been working on with the community. Arts education matters, and I am so glad that the Academy is able to provide performance-based experiences like this to area youth to develop their skills as storytellers and performers in a main stage youth centered production.”
The FSU Academy for the Arts offers classes in art, music, theatre and dance for children starting at age 3 through adult. The FSU Academy for the Arts is dedicated to providing students with quality training and exposure to the arts. Instruction in visual art, music, and theatre enable students to appreciate, perform and create. The academy utilizes Fairmont State facilities and highly qualified instructors drawn from Fairmont State faculty and area teachers. The Academy is a member of the National Guild of Community Schools of the Arts, using its standards as a base for its curriculum. The Academy for the Arts is integral to FSU’s long-standing identification with its community, in particular the cultural and social development of the region. For additional information about the FSU Academy, contact Leigh Anne Bolyard at (304) 333-3655 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.