Posted Online: Nov. 28, 2012, 1:47 pm

SAU alumni partner to create new 'Alice'

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By Jonathan Turner, jturner@qconline.com

Photo:
Brooke Schelly as Alice and Daniel Conlin as a white rabbit puppeteer in a new musical adaptation of 'Alice in Wonderland,' at St. Ambrose University, Davenport.
A brand-new musical adaptation of "Alice in Wonderland," written by two St. Ambrose University alumni, premieres this weekend at the Galvin Fine Arts Center, Davenport.

Daniel Rairdin-Hale, '04, adapted and arranged Lewis Carroll's books and poems, and Aaron Randolph III, '02 and '12, wrote new music for the production. Sophomore Brooke Schelly of Bettendorf is the only live actor in the show, as Alice; the other 15 actors provide voices and handle puppet characters, which were designed by Mr. Rairdin-Hale, Aaron Hook and Dominic Ramirez.

This premiere explores a world of wonder through the eyes of Alice as she meets talking animals, a splendid caterpillar, the Mad Hatter and a very special Cheshire cat. Directed by Mr. Rairdin-Hale, SAU's movement specialist, this play offers a modern view of an old classic using puppetry, poetry, and some special effects.

While a student for the first time at SAU (he's earned two degrees), Mr. Randolph wrote a children's musical based on "James and the Giant Peach." His last original children's musical,"Dakota Jones and the Search for Atlantis," was performed at Ambrose last December and his play "The Plagiarists" also was done this past February at SAU.

The St. Ambrose children's show is an annual event over 5,000 area students will see. This is a tradition designed to introduce children to the excitement of live theater, said Galvin marketing director Eileen Eitrheim. "Alice in Wonderland" runs about an hour with no intermission.

Public performances will be Saturday and Sunday, at 3 p.m. at Galvin. Tickets are $8 for adults, $7 for faculty, staff, alumni, senior citizens, non-SAU students and children, $6 for groups, and free for SAU students with current valid student ID. For reservations, call (563) 333-6251 or visit www.sau.edu/galvin.