Homer performers to dance through ‘Wonderland’

Characters and stage themes are based on Lewis Carroll’s classic work

Homer performers, youth through adult, are in their final week of rehearsal in preparation for the performance of “Dancing Through Wonderland,” based on Lewis Carroll’s 1865 English novel “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.”

There will be two shows on Saturday, April 15 at 2:30 p.m. and 6 p.m. and a final matinee on Sunday, April 16 at 2:30 p.m.

The performance is choreographed and directed by lifelong Homer resident and dancer Breezy Berryman. Berryman’s director’s note in the program explains that the genesis of the project came from her grandmother Betty Snow.

”It was her suggestion to my mother, Jill Berryman, many years ago, to do a ballet version of this beloved tale,” she said in the program.

The cast of approximately 30 moved out of rehearsal space in Homer’s Art Barn and into the high school greenroom and Mariner stage over the past weekend.

“At first it was really enjoyable to work in the Art Barn because it brought back some childhood memories of where I first started dancing, it was nice to reflect on that,” junior Ireland Styvar, who plays the Queen of Hearts, said.

Sophomore Tiya Martushev, who plays the White Queen of Generosity, also said she grew up dancing at the Art Barn and “it seems so much smaller now.”

At the school on Saturday, performers, volunteers and parents were engaged in a flurry of activities.

Dancers ran through their pieces in the greenroom while other volunteers checked props: a giant key, hula hoops, a tea pot and cups, cards, picnic baskets and various mushroom paraphernalia.

Others painted gnomes, put the finishing touches on human-sized mushrooms or created signs to direct the audience to the “Wonderland” stage.

At a safety and logistics meeting before dress rehearsal of the full show, Berryman reminded the dancers to spread the word about the performance as well as the stagecraft, noting the “fabulous props and backdrops” and “really great black light effects.”

Production support also includes many other members of the community: rehearsal assistant directors Jill Berryman and Anne Gittinger-Langley, technical director Jennifer Norton and lead set designer Carla Klinker-Cope, among others.