51 children bring 'madness' to HIT
IRONWOOD - Theatre-goers took a trip down the rabbit hole with 51 local children during performances of "Alice in Wonderland" Saturday at the Historic Ironwood Theatre.
The play was organized by Gannon Styles and Bridget Leary, of Prairie Fire Children's Theatre in Barret, Minn.
According to Bruce Greenhill, managing director of HIT, this is the seventh or eighth year PFCT has come to Ironwood to put on a show.
While some shows take months to put together, children in Ironwood did it in five days. On Monday, children auditioned for roles and had rehearsal on Tuesday and Wednesday. Thursday and Friday featured the play being ran through all in preparation for the final performances on Saturday.
"The kids worked super hard," Styles said to the audience before the evening performance.
The story took the audience on an adventure with the main character Alice, a day-dreamer who wanted to see what it would be like to be small.
Along her journey Alice, played by Hannah Cormier of Wakefield, met interesting characters, including the Queen and King of Hearts, Mad Hatter, Cheshire Cat, White Rabbit, Duchess and Tweedle Dee, Tweedle Dum and Tweedle Dummer.
Alice received an invitation to play croquet during the Queen's "un-birthday party" and finds herself dodging playing cards, flowers, birds and "mad-people" in her attempt to get there on time.
Greenhill said the kids were "terrific.
"Everything went wonderfully," Greenhill said. "We had a lot of people thanking us after the show for providing an opportunity for these kids to do this."
Ages of performers varied from first and second graders to juniors and seniors in high school.
"This was a younger cast this year, but it was great to see the younger kids using their skills to perform at the same level as the older kids," Greenhill said. "They did a terrific job."
Because of the success of PFCT, Greenhill believes it helped spark the newly formed youth drama club at the theater.
"I feel very strongly that the club is a result of the students in the area participating in Prairie Fire," Greenhill said. "Kids who are active in the club, were three- or four-year veterans of Prairie Fire. They got excited and wanted to continue.
"Now, we are able to provide them with a year-round opportunity with the club."
According to Greenhill, he is already planning PFCT to return next summer as well.
"As always, we want to thank Gogebic Range United Way for making this possible for area kids," Greenhill said. "We appreciate their continued support."
HIT will host two concerts in July. The first is a recital with Miles Mykkanen July 20. On July 31, Tim Mesun will hold a benefit concert for HOPE Animal Shelter. Mesun will perform with Megan Gabka.
For more information, call the Historic Ironwood Theatre at 906-932-0618, or visit ironwoodtheatre.net.