Beginning on April 30, the University of Dallas drama department will present the premiere of “alice is where?,” a new play written and directed by senior Ann Urbanski, along with Yeats’ “Purgatory,” directed by senior John Muncy. The productions will stream online until May 2 via a link provided by email and on the drama department website.
“alice is where?” is an absurd coming-of-age comedy inspired by Lewis Carroll’s “Alice in Wonderland.” In the play, a disillusioned college-age Alice engages in a night of revels only to find herself in a bizarre reality full of strange characters―from bumbling professors to mysterious children―who challenge her dismissive attitude with their wild inclinations.
Urbanski and Muncy, along with last semester’s senior directors Sam Chiodo and Pedro Barquin, have had to create their senior studios for a digital platform due to COVID-19 concerns.
Urbanski has chosen to adapt a rehearsal model that combines socially distanced in-person work with Zoom rehearsals.
Playwright and director Urbanski said, “The play takes the structure and some of the big questions of the original ‘Alice’ ―like: ‘what does it mean to grow up? How do we deal as non-grownups with stressful situations?’―and throw them into a contemporary college universe to create something that will be really fun, exciting, and thought-provoking. It’s a story about the strangeness of youth and the possibility of hope in an overwhelming world.”
Working on a new play has also been a unique challenge for the director, actors, and creative team. Junior David Huner, who plays Actor 2, said, “I suppose when you’re working with an ever-evolving and changing play, you have to watch it grow up. Seeing the way… problems were solved was a very rewarding part of the whole process.”
Ellissa Kiowski plays Alice, joined by a company consisting of Charlie Spurgin, Clare Lindgren, and David Huner. The performance will feature sets by Samuel Chiodo, lights by Michael Booton, costumes by Gillian Jones, sound by Julianne Wheeler, and properties by Arianna Rudorf. The production team consists of Kathleen Blute as stage manager, Bianca Aridjis-Olivos as assistant stage manager, and Cameron Nottingham as technical director.