Our Town

PCSS drama students bring Alice to stage

PCSS Drama students in Alice in Wonderland  - Brooke Douma
PCSS Drama students in Alice in Wonderland
— image credit: Brooke Douma

I’m late, I’m late for

A very important date.

No time to say hello, good-bye,

I’m late, I’m late, I’m late

I’m late and when I wave,

I lose the time I save.


Expect a visual and auditory treat when Brooke Douma’s drama students take to the stage in next week’s production of Alice in Wonderland.

“This is such a huge departure from what I usually, do—it’s completely different,” she said last Friday. “But it’s light-hearted and fun.”

Getting male students out to auditions is a tough challenge, so a play like Alice in Wonderland is ideal. Many of the roles aren’t really gender specific, and can be rejigged for female performers.

Douma produces and directs a theatrical event every two years, and it’s a big undertaking that isn’t part of her teaching position.

“This is not part of my job—I don’t get paid for it. I’m basically a one-woman show,” she laughs. “I do everything. That’s why I only do it every two years.”

With a degree in fine arts and a love for live theatre, Douma knows that it means a lot to her students to have the chance to perform for the public, and she’s committed to giving them the opportunity.

“I always try to pick plays that have large casts,” she said. “The Alice in Wonderland cast has about 25 students (and her own young daughter, Lily) in the cast and another five or so working behind the scenes.”

When asked about the choice of Alice in Wonderland, Douma admitted to be surprised when some of the students were completely unaware of the story.

“I know it seems amazing,” she laughed. “We grew up knowing the story and now there is a generation that hasn’t!”

But knowing the Lewis Carroll work or not, they have enjoyed learning their lines and bringing the language to life, she said.

Douma said she put together most of the costumes from Gleaners shopping excursions, and has done a lot of sewing, too. Many of the set pieces are also finds from Gleaners.

Visually, the effect is stunning, as the photo on this week’s front page attests, and the director is confident audiences will enjoy it.

“At first I wondered about doing what we usually think of as a children’s story, but it really does have an appeal for all ages. It works on so many different levels.”

Alice and Wonderland runs for three nights, from March 9-11 at Prince Charles Theatre. Showtime is 7 p.m., so guests don’t have to go running from the production when the curtain closes, calling out, “I’m late, I’m late for a very important date!”

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