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Youth group show gets ‘curiouser and curiouser’

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Cathy Dobson

Director Anthony Fracalanza sifted through about 20 versions of Alice in Wonderland before choosing a unique adaptation for this month’s Theatre Sarnia Senior Youth Group stage production.

“It’s always been a favourite story of mine,” says Fracalanza. “It’s a story I related to because it’s such an escape into the imagination.

“Plus, the kids were begging me to do it.”

The 32 actors, who range in age from 13 to 18 years, are presenting Eva Le Gallienne and Florida Friebus’s adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s classic tale of fantasy and adventure.

Fracalanza categorizes it as “partially musical,” with fives songs and three dance numbers punctuating the dialogue.

The Senior Youth Group is an offshoot of Theatre Sarnia, offering teenagers an opportunity to work with six leaders and participate in smaller shows and one major production every few years. They meet Saturdays through the school year and also rehearse Fridays as showtime approaches.

The last big musical by the group, also directed by Fracalanza, was Peter Pan in 2014.

“It’s a great opportunity for the kids to work with others their age and learn about sound and light and the theatre,” said Fracalanza who has volunteered eight years with the Senior Youth Group and is active with Theatre Sarnia.

Alice proved so popular with Sarnia’s young actors that four young women are sharing the lead character’s role, and there are several other swing cast members who play two roles in any given performance.


WHAT: Alice in Wonderland presented by the Theatre Sarnia Senior Youth Group.

WHEN:  May 18 & 19, at 7:30 p.m.

WHERE: Imperial Theatre

TICKETS: $10. Contact the box office at 519-344-7469 or

GOOD LUCK TO 33 Variations

In other Theatre Sarnia news, February’s highly acclaimed production of 33 Variations heads to North Bay this week to compete at the Theatre Ontario Festival.

33 Variations, directed by Henri Canino, was chosen as the best of five plays at the Western Ontario Drama League Festival during March Break in Woodstock.

33 Variations cleaned up at the W.O.D.L. competition, bringing home eight awards and earning more hardware than any other Theatre Sarnia show.

In North Bay at the Gateway Theatre, it will compete against three other plays produced by theatre groups in Cobourg, North Bay and Richmond Hill.

The Arts Journal highlights great things happening in the local cultural community. Contact Cathy Dobson with your ideas at 226-932-0985 or [email protected].

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