By Ed Albanesi
Since the announcement made late last year, local ballet fans have been looking forward to the St. Augustine Ballet’s brand new production of Alice in Wonderland.
Director Luis Abella said the story of a young girl coming to terms with herself will appeal to young and more mature audiences alike. He is both hopeful and confident the ballet will meet with the same success as last spring’s production of the Ballet of Peter Pan.
Many St. Johns County residents are familiar with the St. Augustine Ballet’s production of The Nutcracker. For the past eight years The St. Augustine Nutcracker has been a must-see during the Christmas season.
Lesser known, but gaining in popularity, have been the Ballet’s spring productions. They have included Peter and the Wolf, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the Ballet of Peter Pan and this year’s Alice in Wonderland.
The “Alice” cast consists of 54 students from 26 schools (including homeschooled), the professional tap company Noise Complaint and a few local, community “celebrities” who will be announced as soon as their participation is confirmed.
Carolyn Karger, who worked on last year’s Ballet of Peter Pan, is compiling the ballet’s score. Karger is both a musician, and a music producer and editor.
She described the music for Alice as eclectic, dramatic and whimsical. Karger said it incorporates contemporary and classical music, cool jazz, steampunk, middle-eastern and percussive musical styles.
The choreography is all new and has specifically been created for this production of Alice in Wonderland. Teaming up on the choreography are Emily Masson and Jenne Bernes, two names well-known to the local dance community.
Rob O’Leary is responsible for set design and Virginie Woodward is creating the costumes. Both have been a part of St. Augustine Ballet productions since the Ballet’s inception.
Harlow Hatin and Ella Wimpelberg will share the role of Alice. Arianna Fleischman will portray the White Rabbit and Devin Mantei is the Cheshire Cat.
Kali Lee is the Queen of Hearts, Kiera Pheffer is the Duchess and Grace Karger is cast as the Caterpillar. Other cast members include:
Jenny Albanesi, Maya Alvarez, Josephine Anzelmo, Marla Ayrish, Sabrina Berman, Mileena Bicknell, Danielle Bleau, Lexi Brockway, Sydney Brockway, Abby Chapman, Milo Christensen, Elizabeth Coleman, Catalina Davis, Katherine DeAcutis, Julia Douglas, Christina Dyches, Kismet Field, Jaida Fioreze, Carolina Garcia, Rayna Glad, Jocelyn Herstone, Jake Karger, Evie Kirschling, Riley Kirschling, Meadow Kuc, Nature Kuc, Emaleigh Layman, Naomi Lewis, Ayla Lugo, Paris Lugo, Emma Maroney, Claudia Mueckay, Adelaide Pacetti, Carson Palmer, Katie Pennington, Ofir Pizanti, Lucy Ramsey, Baylee Rogan, Anthony Romero, Sarah Salvi, Emily Screnock, Emma Sweeney, Alexa Walcott, Jolynne Waldner, Jordan Wallace, Eléa Woodward and Tess Woodward.
Schools represented in the cast include:
Gamble Rodgers Middle, St. Augustine High, Pacetti Bay Middle, St Johns Academy, Durbin Creek Elementary, Murray Middle, Wards Creek Elementary, Timberlin Creek Elementary, Valley Ridge Academy, Hartley Elementary, Otis Mason Elementary, Crookshank Elementary, Indian Trails Middle, St. John’s Virtual, Florida Virtual, Cathedral Parish, Fruit Cove Middle, Bertram Trails High, Moultrie Montessori, Ketterlinus Elementary, Wadsworth Elementary, RB Hunt Elementary, St. Augustine Public Montessori, Homeschool, Flagler College and the University of North Florida.
Tickets will soon be on sale and will be available at www.saintaugustineballet.com. Keep reading here for updated information.