Arts Network puts new spin on children’s classic

After 150 years, Alice is in need of a makeover.

The Papillion La Vista Arts Network is providing her with that upgrade with their new twist to the classic “Alice in Wonderland.”

“Alice @Wonderland” will be on stage Friday and Saturday at Christ the King Lutheran Church, 7308 S. 42nd St. in Bellevue. Show time is set for 7 p.m. each night.

The children’s classic written by Lewis Carroll was published in 1865. Coming off its 150-year anniversary, PLAN chief creative officer and co-founder Deborah Kippley thought it was a good time to honor the legendary book as their winter performance.

“It’s not quite as much in detail as the original and there’s a few differences,” Kippley said. “Basically, Alice is sitting on a hill on her cellphone and when she goes down the rabbit hole, she can’t get any service. But all the main characters are there.”

Kippley’s daughter, Anna, is serving as director and loved the concept of remaking the classic. The play is adapted from Jonathan Yukich, who won the 2014 Shubert Fendrich Memorial Playwriting Contest for his work.

“She’s picky, so it has to be a well-written script,” Kippley said. “It has some very clever lines.”

Kippley said the costumes have a Steampunk theme, a cross between British Victorian, the old west and the Industrial Revolution.

The cast of 43 includes children ranging from first through ninth grade. Normally, PLAN students depart after the eighth grade but Kippley said they brought back four “graduates” to assume some of the lead roles. The group performs a show in the summer along with its winter performance.

Auditions took part in early January and Kippley says they will have 11 rehearsals under their belts by the time they take the stage.

“We’ve got nine new kids to the program and nine kids who are just doing the winter show, otherwise the rest of the cast was part of our summer production,” Kippley said.

Tickets are on sale for $5.50 and children 6 and under are free. Tickets can be purchased at the door or in advance by contacting Kippley at 402-331-0310.

Some of the proceeds will be used to help fund kindergarten programs in Malawi, Africa.

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