During the second week of May the Christian Youth Theater (CYT) will premiere “Alice,” a musical with a pop/rock opera twist based off “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” and “Through the Looking Glass,” by Lewis Carroll.
The play focuses on a high school senior, Alice Lidelle who loves the band The Red Queen. Alice and her sister, dressed as a white rabbit for a costume party, are grounded the night of The Red Queen’s concert and “the two are sent spiraling down, down, down into a topsy-turvy world.”
The production of this “Wonder-full New Musical” would not be possible without the help of an Ahwatukee Foothills family who helped build the sets for the production.
“We are really thankful that CYT let us join this team considering our only strengths were a desire to help and learn,” said Cindy Frost-Bisgrove. Cindy, her husband and her two sons have all been extremely involved with the theater. The family had no prior experience set building when they began working with CYT.
Daniel, 12, often searches the warehouse for items from prior shows that can be re-purposed for use in the musical. Benjamin, 14, is learning how to use simple power and hand tools for small assembly projects. Benjamin also helps with sweeping up sawdust. Cindy’s husband, Jeff, has the most experience using wood cutting equipment and helped other set members build the doors that will be on the stage.
The family began working on the set in March. They decided to get involved with set building when they realized Benjamin and Daniel had a scheduling conflict during the opening week of the play. The two brothers performed in two other CYT productions and had an extremely memorable experience.
“We didn’t want to lose our connection with the people that had become like family. Thinking outside the box we asked if we could help behind the scenes,” Cindy said.
This week CYT will transport the sets into the Mesa Arts Center so the cast can have a chance to rehearse with the sets before opening weekend.
“The project we have all worked on and is our most interesting job so far has been cleaning and preparing the lockers needed for the set,” Cindy said.
The Bisgroves helped remove soda spills and other debris from the lockers that were then taped and primed. The boys were extremely excited when the lockers were ready to be painted.
The Bisgrove family is really looking forward to seeing “Alice” and even invited two youth groups to attend.
“I think the play will encourage more than youth,” Cindy said. “I believe it will encourage individuals, families and adults of all ages since most of us have been, are, or will be in Alice’s shoes some time in our lives.”
“Alice” opens at the Mesa Arts Center Nesbitt/Elliott Playhouse on Friday, May 11 and tickets are currently on sale to the public for $16. For more information, visit www.cytphoenix.org.
Arselia Gales is interning this semester for the Ahwatukee Foothills News. She is a sophomore at Arizona State University.