Janna Grant

Plenty of adventures in Wonderland

eXtreme Theatre presents Alice in Wonderland Jr. at the ACT in Maple Ridge, featuring actors from North Vancouver, Coquitlam and Mission.

With a waddle and wiggle, Tweedledum and Tweedledee switch spots and end up tangled. They’ve soon forgotten a tiff they had about a rattle, made peace and decided not to battle.

“They are alway confused with their names and don’t know who they are,” says Aden Born, agreeing the twin brothers from Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland are down-right silly.

“We think very highly of manner,” adds Connor Buzza, who plays Tweedledum to Born’s Tweedledee.

“But we don’t have the best manners.”

Cast as the troublesome twins in eXtreme Theatre’s musical production, Born and Buzza are trying to stay in step. They are mimicking each other’s movements to a tee.

“We are practically identical,” says Born, from Coquitlam, with a laugh.

The first-time thespians have memorized their lines and learned their dance steps but admit they are slightly anxious about being on a big stage.

“I’m fine acting in front of the class,” says Born, nodding in agreement when Tweedledum interjects that rehearsals have been “tons of fun.”

“We both think we are song and scene ready,”says Buzza, who lives in Mission.

“The nerves maybe the hardest part.”

Featuring two casts of 35 home-schooled students from across Metro Vancouver, Alice in Wonderland is a fast-paced stage adaptation of the Lewis Carroll tale with classic Disney songs including “I’m Late,” “The Un-birthday Song” and “Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah.”

Join Alice’s madcap adventures in Wonderland as she chases the White Rabbit, races the Dodo Bird, gets tied up with the Tweedles, raps with a bubble-blowing Caterpillar, and beats the Queen of Hearts at her own game.

Cast as the protagonist, Coquitlam’s Janna Grant is a fan of Alice’s adventure.

“My mom’s always had a thing for the Mad Hatter,” says Grant, a precocious 10-year-old who played Tinkerbell in last year’s production.

“We’ve seen the movie a few times. I mean, it’s such nonsense,” she exclaims. “It’s probably the most fun play to do because you can do anything.”

Just like Alice, Grant admits she daydreams a lot.

“I do have to say, I kind of relate to Alice,” she says, with a smile.

The busy bunny who leads Alice down the rabbit-hole is Emma Dougan.

“He’s just so anxious about a lot of stuff but he never really knows where he’s going,” she says.

Just like her cast mate, Dougan, 12, enjoys dreaming, especially the weird ones that leave her scratching her head the next morning.

“I dream about going to different lands,” says Dougan, from North Vancouver.

“But never about jumping into a rabbit hole.”

• eXtreme Theatre presents Alice in Wonderland Jr. at the ACT in Maple Ridge, April 24 to 26 at 7 p.m. and April 27 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. For tickets, call 604-476-2787 or visit actmapleridge.org.

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