The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.

Scot Scoop News

The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.

Scot Scoop News

The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.

Scot Scoop News

Carlmont drama prepares to dive into the world of ‘Wonderland’

Madeline Howard
Senior Georgia Kelly discusses the behind the scenes of Carlmont’s spring play. “Ms. Berg is not that involved,” Kelly said. “She helps us to find appropriate deadlines and eventually to manage our budget, but Marlo Lewis and I play the part of directors and producers. We then delegate tasks to other students, so all the pieces can be done by many hands at the same time.”

As auditions for Carlmont’s spring play approach, Carlmont seniors Marlo Lewis and Georgia Kelly are working hard in preparation for the return of Carlmont’s student-written play, “Wonderland.”

On Feb. 9, the Carlmont Thespians announced that “Wonderland” would be co-directed by Lewis and Kelly. Both are four-year performing arts students involved in several Carlmont productions on and offstage. Students may recognize them from Lewis’ role as Ariel in “The Little Mermaid,” which Kelly led lights for behind the scenes as a member of the tech crew, along with Kelly’s performance as Oberon in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.”

Written and performed in 2014, “Wonderland” takes place in an alternate version of the fantasy realm described in Lewis Carroll’s “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” and “Through the Looking Glass.” The play follows a new Alice, a descendant of the original, thrust into an unfamiliar and war-torn wonderland and forced to step into her ancestor’s role. According to Kelly, she and Lewis had been interested in the play from the very beginning of the directing process because of the compelling narrative.

“We both knew we wanted to direct, and Marlo really liked the idea of doing this because it has a lot of sentimental value for her,” Kelly said. “She let me read the script and I immediately was so in love with it, the characters, and the world. Just right away thinking, ‘Yes, I wanted to do this with her, and I’m excited.’”

Carlmont’s drama productions follow a yearly schedule, starting with a traditional play in the fall, then a musical in the winter, and concluding with a student-directed piece in the spring. Each production has its qualities, which draw in a large variety of cast and crew. In the case of the spring play, there are typically fewer roles, and auditions are more selective than the year’s previous shows. While this makes it more challenging to get into, some students, such as junior Ryu Shukla, are drawn to this format.

“I feel like it’s the most unique of all the plays because it’s student-directed and selected,” Shukla said. “I’ve always wanted to get into it and have auditioned for it every single year. It’s very selective, but even if I don’t get in, I get to see how much I have grown and how else I can improve myself as an actor.” 

In addition to the prospective auditioners, the play’s co-authors, class of 2014 Carlmont alumni Charlotte Lewis and Marcella Haddad, look forward to the return of their play. According to Haddad, this will be her first time seeing the production in its entirety after having to act as an understudy in the play’s original run.

“It’s a little surreal; it’s been ten years, right?” Charlotte Lewis said. “Marlo is my little sister and was there during the initial process. She had always talked about wanting to direct it when she got to high school, and I had told her not to feel obligated to, but I think she really believed in the vision, and it’s a lot of fun to see it come back to life in this way.”

Her co-author, Haddad, echoed the sentiment.

“I’m just so excited to see their vision,” Haddad said. “What are they gonna change and alter and have a new perspective on? There’ll be new staging and costumes and all kinds of stuff. I’m really excited to see things that to Marlo are the core of ‘Wonderland’ and the things the directors put their own artistic vision on.”

Auditions for the play are after school from Feb. 12-13, with callbacks for select actors on Feb. 15. Those who wish to audition are asked to prepare, ideally memorize, and perform a monologue of their choosing for the directors and Carlmont drama teacher Elizabeth Berg. While many students may be worried about auditioning for a play with cuts, according to Kelly, they should try out regardless.

“I would say just do it,” Kelly said. “There’s really no harm in auditioning. Theatre at Carlmont is such a wonderful and unique experience, and anyone who has come into contact with it has always said the exact thing: the community is so strong here, and it’s just so special to everyone involved with it. I highly encourage auditioning if you’re on the fence. There is no wrong move to make here, and you might just discover a new passion.

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About the Contributor
Madeline Howard
Madeline Howard, Staff Writer
Madeline (Madds) Howard (class of 2026) enjoys theatre, music, baking, and fantasy media. This is her first year with Scot Scoop and she's looking forward to covering campus news. In her free time, you'll find her listening to horror podcasts and playing videogames.

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