The kingdom’s aspiring thespians are set to entertain theatre-lovers this evening at the Cultural Hall with their expressive take on a beloved childhood tale.
Around 40 youngsters, aged between five and 16, spent the past few days participating in acting, improvisation and mime workshops in a bid to learn new skills and audition to play different characters in an adaptation of Alice in Wonderland.
The workshops, auditions and show were put on and are being directed by Missoula Children’s Theatre (MCT) members Daniela Santiago and Gregory Boris for the Bahrain Authority for Culture and Antiquities (Baca) Bahrain Summer Festival.
MCT, the American non-profit organisation, was brought to the kingdom by the US Embassy in Bahrain to further encourage the arts across the island.
“Missoula Children’s Theatre’s teaching style challenges seasoned artists, while opening the door to new students to the performing arts,” explained Ms Santiago, a graduate of Brenau University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in acting through the Gainesville Theatre Alliance.
“Theatre is a collaborative art form, so students learn the importance of working together as an ensemble and co-operation.
“Our workshops are building blocks that can aid any student involved with our production or any production beyond us.
“They learn how to enhance their performance through physicality and vocal interpretation as well as skills that can be used off the stage, like memorisation and concentration.”
Participants selected from the workshops and auditions will exhibit their talents in tonight’s production at 5pm and the showcase is free for all to attend. The set and costumes were all designed and created in Missoula, Montana in the US.
According to Mr Boris, MCT’s music and performance technology manager, this version of Alice in Wonderland is different from many Missoula Children’s Theatre shows. “With its large cast of notable characters from the book and recognisable characters from the film, it is silly and strange, encouraging curiosity and expressiveness from its actors,” he said.
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, commonly known as Alice in Wonderland, is an 1865 English novel by Lewis Carroll in which a young girl named Alice falls through a rabbit hole into a fantasy world of anthropomorphic creatures.
In 1951, Walt Disney Productions created an animated musical fantasy comedy based on the Alice books.
“We hope to encourage the audience to enjoy, laugh and fall into ‘Wonder’ along with us!” added Mr Boris.
This is the first time Alice in Wonderland has been performed in Bahrain but it is not the first time that MCT has worked with the embassy, or Baca, as they have been collaborating since 2017. This will be a fifth production in this collaboration. “We are so happy to be back in Bahrain,” added Mr Boris.