Follow CVMS students to 'a curious place'

It all begins with a fall down a rabbit hole. And Alice (in Wonderland) says, "What a curious place."

"Things are getting curiouser and curiouser," she says, as she meets the mock turtle, the dormouse, the red chess queen and other zany characters from the book "Alice in Wonderland."

The familiar tale is brought to life by Carson Valley Middle School students at the CVIC Hall in Minden with presentations at 7 p.m. Thursday through Saturday of the musical production "Follow that Rabbit - The Wonderland Story."

The students as well as their instructor are having a lot of fun with it, they said at a dress rehearsal on Monday night at the CVIC Hall, although making a musical production is serious business.

"It's really great. The people are really cool," said ninth-grader Sean Derbyshire, who is portraying the Mad Hatter. "It's kind of more than you expect from the outside. It's pretty professional."

Instructor Trudy Sevy, the director of the play, called out their orders as she worked on the set with a couple of students. She said she chose the nonsensical story after a suggestion from her husband.

"I wanted something that would be fun and different," she said of the play, which is an adaptation of the writings of Lewis Carroll. "And the kids are doing so extremely well. I am very proud of them."

Auditions were held and 20 students were chosen to play the parts. Another eight or so are working on the crew.

"Some of them are ninth graders from last year," said Sevy, "but, a lot of them are new. They worked very hard."

Sevy had to book the CVIC Hall a year in advance, but said that these last couple of weeks the organizers of the hall "have worked with us so well."

The silliness of the lines, the chance for all the students to sing and dance and colorful costumes add to the fun the students are having at rehearsals. Sean said he found most of his costume at thrift stores, although his 2-foot-by-2-foot top hat had to be special ordered.

"It's fun getting into the character, especially this costume," said Sean, who is acting in his first play. "It's good experience. I think I'm going to try out for more plays and do more acting."

Julia Kerrigan, also in ninth grade, who's playing the lead character, Alice, said she has been in several plays before. Most of them were in Minnesota, and she acted in the CVMS production "Pirates of Penzance" last year, after she moved to Carson Valley.

"I like how it's so carefree," said Julia of "Follow that Rabbit." "It's really fun to do because of the nonsense. It's really good for little kids. It's for all ages. It's great."

Ashley Barrett, a ninth-grader, plays the mock turtle, with a glittery green spray painted baseball umpire vest and a big green sponge rubber shell.

"I look more like a butterfly," said Ashley.

Bo Khongkhatithham, who plays the caterpillar, wears a blue padded costume with lots of legs that Sevy found for her.

"It is really cool," she said.

Bo acted in plays before she moved to the U.S. in May 2005.

"I've been in a play when I'm still in Thailand," the eighth-grader said, adding that she wants to be in more plays at CVMS.

Ninth-grader Nick Weaver chose to stay behind the scenes, like he has in other CVMS productions. He is a member of the lighting, set, stage and sound crews for "Follow that Rabbit."

"I'm the cue guy for almost everything," he said.

At Douglas High School he hopes to continue working on the plays in production, and maybe do a little acting. He said he enjoys doing the production side, because it allows him to do other extra-curricular activities, like an engineering program he signed up for next year.


Carson Valley Middle School production of "Follow that Rabbit - The Wonderland Story"

7 p.m. Thursday, Friday and Saturday

CVIC Hall in Minden


Tickets available at the door: $7 general; $5 students, seniors and children younger than 12; $30 for a family on Family Night, Saturday.

Cast and crew:

Alice - Julia Kerrigan

White rabbit - Grace Whited

Mock turtle and card soldier - Ashley Bennett

Lory - Megan Einsphar

Dodo and card soldier - Sara Garic

Mouse and doormouse - Alisa Sarapava

Red chess queen - Kyla Douglas

White chess queen - Cassie Fastabend

Caterpillar - Bo Khongkhatitham

Duchess - Kaitlyn Russell

Cook - Kimmie Russell

Cheshire cat and rose - Lydia Ogles

Tweedledum and knave - Christi Crozier

Tweedledee, card soldier and lily - Ilea Kirchoff

Mad Hatter - Sean Derbyshire

March Hare - Alex Sunderland

Queen of hearts and fish footman - Jaime Skilling

King of hearts and frog footman - Tim Klekar

Humpty Dumpty and daisy - Caitlyn Douglass

Knight - Bon Tem

Director - Trudy Sevy

Assistant director - Annalyse Klekar

Stage manager - Dezi Davis

Choreographer - Cassie Fastabend

Lighting - Steve Klekar and Nick Weaver

Stage crew - Nick Weaver, Marce Hertz and Andrew McNelley

Sound - Nick Weaver

Make-up - Dezi Davis

Set crew - Nick Weaver, Andrew McNelley, Marce Hertz, Alisa Sarapava, Jett Fastabend, Steve Klekar and Ladonna Olivars


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