Franklin High to give ‘Alice’ a world premiere

Franklin High School senior Jackson Cornwell, who plays the Caterpillar, rehearses as his character prepares to meet Alice. CONTRIBUTED
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Franklin High School senior Jackson Cornwell, who plays the Caterpillar, rehearses as his character prepares to meet Alice. CONTRIBUTED

The locally written script is a modern take on “Alice in Wonderland.”

Contact this contributing writer at gmwriteon@aol.com.

Franklin High School’s Drama Club this weekend will perform a world premiere of “Alice,” which is a locally written, modern take on “Alice in Wonderland.”

“This will be a world premiere, because this is a brand-new script,” said Jeff Sams, the director. “The students I have, who are currently seniors, have always wanted to do a rendition of ‘Alice in Wonderland.’ It’s been their dream.”

“About a year-and-half to two years ago, I started thinking about it as they were approaching their senior year, and I couldn’t find a script that I liked,” Sams said. E“ither there weren’t enough characters, or it wasn’t well written, or it was too long.”

Then Sams sat down with a friend, Dayton native and playwright Robb Willoughby, who wrote “Alice” over the summer of 2015.

“The script is really fun. It has a very large cast, and I think it is going to be pretty exciting,” Sams said. “This is exactly what I wanted, and the students are happy with it and excited. That makes it a perfect combination.”

Performance dates are Friday through Sunday, Nov. 4-6.

“You don’t often have the opportunity to do a world premiere work. I think that in itself is exciting,” Sams said. “It could be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for the students to do a new work. It doesn’t happen in high schools very often.”

The cast spans four grade levels, ninth through 12th grade, and seniors have prominent roles in the show.

Seniors who star in the cast include Paul Dunn (White Rabbit); Leanna Roberts (Red Queen/Sister); Caedmon Mills (Mad Hatter); Alexis Clifford (Duchess); Madison Ramsey (Rose); Jackson Cornwell (Caterpillar); Nick Kakaris (Chesire Cat); Carson Dalton (Tweedle Dee); Allison Blankenship (Tweedle Dum); Kelsea Penny (Goat) and Destiny Mitchell (Horse.) Alice is played by junior Rachael Kindred.

The students have been rehearsing for the show since the first week of September.

“The students are creating characters that are animated, lively and original,” Sams said.

The students have done a marvelous job in capturing the essence of the story, he said. It’s about what’s important in your life, and finding your way home. It also touches on themes of serving others, and what it means to appreciate the things you have in life, which are woven throughout the script.

“This is a very family-friendly show to see. It supports the fine arts in schools, which is vitally important to continuing the expansion and promotion of the arts,” Sams said.

How to go

What: “Alice”

When: Friday through Sunday, Nov. 4-6. Performance times are 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday.

Where: Franklin High School McDade Auditorium. Franklin High School is at 750 E. Fourth St., Franklin.

Admission: Tickets are $10 for adults and $8 for seniors who attend on performance days and $5 for students. Tickets may be purchased at the door on performance days or during lunch hours at school.

More info: Email director Jeff Sams at jsams@franklincityschools.com or call him at 937-743-8611, ext. 1264.