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Bringing the magic of Wonderland to life

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Sanford Collegiate students Kylie Nielsen (kneeling), Colt Plouffe (standing, left), Renee Larocque, Riley Hydrochuk and Liam Herzberg are performing in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland on May 14 and 15.

ANDREA GEARY

Sanford Collegiate students Kylie Nielsen (kneeling), Colt Plouffe (standing, left), Renee Larocque, Riley Hydrochuk and Liam Herzberg are performing in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland on May 14 and 15. Photo Store

Join the Mad Hatter, White Rabbit, Alice and other magical characters as Sanford Collegiate students perform excerpts from Lewis Carroll’s classic tale, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, on Wed., May 14 and Thurs., May 15.

English teacher and director Monica Reis, who is also an actor, said Sanford Collegiate students stage a theatrical production once every two years. This year’s cast and crew includes first-time members and others with more stage experience.

"I generally try to have students run the entire production," Reis said.

With 11 years spent teaching in Sanford, and 25 years within the Red River Valley School Division, Reis calculates that she’s worked on more than 20 productions, but each time she loves the team spirit that is generated within cast and crew.

"I always see the progress of the production," she said. "You just see the growth in the students."

Liam Herzberg, 17, from Oak Bluff, is one of the new crew members, responsible for the play’s sound effects and audio cues.

Herzberg said he’s done some sound recording and mixing as a hobby so it wasn’t a big stretch to prepare the sound for Alice.

"I had the technology to get and mix certain sound effects."

His audio cues will help keep two fledging actors on track. Riley Hydrochuk, 16, of La Salle, and Renee Larocque, 17, from Sanford, play the Mad Hatter and March Hare, respectively.

"I have to dance on a table while singing a song," Hydrochuk said.

Larocque said she was involved in school athletics in previous years but decided to challenge herself by signing up for theatre in her final year at Sanford Collegiate.

"I always wanted to do something different," she said.

Both said they don’t expect to be hit with a case of opening night nerves on May 14 as they have been in the public eye before.

The lead role of Alice is being played by Kylie Nielsen, 17, from Starbuck. She’s taken dance lessons and was in the 2012 school production of Get Smart.

While she plans to enter environmental studies at the University of Manitoba after graduation, she hopes to continue acting in her spare time.

"You get to express yourself," she said, adding that she loves improvisation.

Colt Plouffe, 16, of La Salle, will play the White Rabbit. Like Nielsen, he appeared in the school’s Get Smart, so this isn’t his first role.

He hopes to continue acting, and said, "You can become someone else on stage. You can put your own spin on a character."

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland will be staged at Domain Hall. With 36 characters onstage, over 50 students in Grades 9 to 12 are involved in the production as cast and crew.

As of May 1, there were still tickets available but Reis suggests calling the school at 204-736-2366 to reserve tickets.   


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