“I figured if I can control kindergarteners, I can surely control [drama students],” Sarver said, laughing.
Caston speech pathologist Paige Woodhouse, a veteran of about 20 Junior Civic Theater and Logansport High School theatrical productions, volunteered to help Sarver.
At the February auditions, 24 students tried out. Each one received a part in the production, and school staff stepped in for a couple of roles — including Strasser. After he volunteered to fill a small role, he ended up being led onstage in chains as the Knave of Hearts, arrested for having stolen the Queen’s tarts.
“I was so happy that she was doing the play that I told the director that if not enough kids showed up, I’d be willing to take a role,” Strasser said, chuckling. “I should’ve known what would happen when I said that.”
Brown, 18, took on the role of Alice, the young girl who jumps down a rabbit hole into a dizzying world of talking animals, chess pieces and playing cards. It’s the latest of a dozen roles the high school senior has filled since appearing in a Junior Civic Theater production in first grade.
She’s joined by juniors Tim Kieninger and Trey Doan, 17-year-old chums who portray the Mad Hatter and the March Hare, respectively, and by 16-year-old Addison Sarver as the White Rabbit she chases down the hole.
They and other cast members say it’s been exciting to resurrect the school’s theatrical productions — “everybody getting together and saying, hey, we’re going to do this,” in Tim’s words.
Strasser said the school is already planning to have a high school production next year. One cast member suggested it might be hard to beat this year’s.
“This isn’t just a comeback play. This is setting the bar for future plays,” Addison said.