Cast members

Cast members come together around Chloe Puckett as Alice, center, at the end of one of many songs in the production.

by Andrea Newell

Times Correspondent

Follow High Country Fine Arts Association down the rabbit hole and into a land of wonder with the musical “Alice in Wonderland Jr.”

Directed by Cindy Puckett, Judy Hamontre and Lindsey Mueller, this 60-minute musical production is based on the classic novels by Lewis Carroll as well as the 1951 Disney film.

Follow Alice on her journey through Wonderland where she discovers crazy and colorful characters like the White Rabbit, the Mad Hatter and the Queen of Hearts, and where she discovers herself, too.

The production consists of 22 middle school students. Because they usually get about 25 kids for their plays, HCFAA looked for a production that fit that number, Puckett said. They also thought it would be fun to make it a musical.

“Previous years, they’ve been just script plays,” she said. “We found ‘Alice’ and thought that could be a lot of fun with costumes and props, and it’s a good size.”

“I’m really excited. It should be really fun,” eighth-grader Chloe Puckett, playing Alice, said.

Chloe has been in about nine other HCFAA productions; however, she has mainly played in supporting roles. This will be her first lead role, creating an exciting challenge for the young thespian.

“I like Alice because it challenges me into being a new character,” she said. “I have a lot of lines that I have to memorize. I also have to make sure that because I’ve been in more plays than most people here that I can help carry them through the play.”

Last appearing in Buena Vista High School’s “High School Musical,” eighth-grader Jaylynn Goode is also enjoying the musical, especially its updated dialogue. “It’s very cute. I like how they did a twist on ‘Alice in Wonderland.’ It’s not like the normal one,” she said.

Goode portrays the infamous Queen of Hearts. “I like sassy roles. I feel like I’m pretty good at them,” she said.

Also seen in previous HCFAA productions such as “A Year with Frog and Toad KIDS,” seventh-grader Caleb Collier returns to play the energetic White Rabbit. “I’m actually quite excited. I like the chatty characters; they’re all over the place,” he said, adding with a laugh, “I feel like I’m going to be very tired after the play. Very.”

“They’re good kids. They want to be here, so that’s good,” Cindy Puckett said. To the community, she added, “Come and see it. It’s going to be fun.”

The musical kicks off Nov. 9 and Nov. 10, both at 6 p.m., at Darren Patterson Christian Academy, 518 S. San Juan Ave. Doors will open by 5:30 p.m.

Tickets can be purchased at the door at $10 per adult and $5 per student ages 4-18 years old. Children 3 or younger are admitted free.

HCFAA will return on Feb. 29 and March 1 with “Magic Tree House: Pirates Past Noon.”

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