'Wonderland High' begins two weekend run at Cannon Centre Friday

By Garrett Mitchell, Staff Reporter
Published on Thursday, October 20, 2016

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'Wonderland High' begins two weekend run at Cannon Centre Friday
The Greer Cultural Arts Council is gearing up for its latest production, a contemporary take on Lewis Carroll's classic “Alice in Wonderland” called “Wonderland High.”

The play, set at a modern high school, will bring to life all of the wild and wonderful characters fans of Alice you know and love as well as a few new ones.

Saturday's production will also have a special guest, the play's author, Jesse Johnson, from New York who will attend a show.

"It's a modern contemporary take on 'Alice in Wonderland,'" said GCAC Director Robin Byouk.  "It's about everyday high school and is set at a school called Wonderland High.  All kinds of crazy things happen with all of these crazy characters."

Johnson, who began work on the script five years ago, talked about his inspiration for 'Wonderland High.'

"The inspiration is, we were working with some high school kids in Austin, Texas a few years ago," Johnson said.  "We realized that it's really hard to find a show with a lot of age appropriate characters for high school ages that gives everyone in the cast a lot to do.

“Too many Broadway shows have things that are not always appropriate for school kids.  We wanted a show where everyone got a chance to shine and play roles that are appropriate for them and had a good message."

There have been tweaks, additions and subtractions to the script along the way, but fans of the GCAC will see the final, polished version of 'Wonderland High' when the cast takes the stage Friday night.

"We started working on it about five years ago," said Johnson.  "We've had about fourteen productions before this and made changes along the way for all of them.  The version that Greer is doing is the final version now being made available for other schools in theaters."

Byouk said that the cast has been working to bring the world of Wonderland High to life.

"(The cast) loves it," Byouk said.  "They're having a blast.  I think the audience will enjoy it.  There are some really funny things in it."

"The last time that I'm aware of (an author attending a play) was 'Stuart Little' which was about fifteen years ago," Byouk said.

"There is nothing more rewarding in the world than getting to see a group present a show that I wrote and have a great time doing it," Johnson said.  "I'm very excited to come to Greer.  I've seen clips of their rehearsals and it looks like an exciting cast.  Robin is lovely and I'm so thankful that they've chosen to do it."

Want to go?

What: The Greer Cultural Arts Council presents “Wonderland High”

Where: The Cannon Centre, 204 Cannon Street

When: Oct. 21-22, 28-29 at 7 p.m. and Oct. 23 and 30 at 2 p.m.

Cost: Adults $15, students/seniors/military $12, Children under 5 $7




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