The WYO Goes to Wonderland

3 in 1:  Mariah Olesen (center) plays Alice, along with her counterparts Rowan Heil as Small Alice and Madison Farr ad Tall Alice in the 17th Annual Tandem Production, "Alice in Wonderland, Jr.", opening June 15th at the WYO Theatre in Sheridan.
3 in 1: Mariah Olesen (center) plays Alice, along with her counterparts Rowan Heil as Small Alice and Madison Farr ad Tall Alice in the 17th Annual Tandem Production, "Alice in Wonderland, Jr.", opening June 15th at the WYO Theatre in Sheridan.

About 62 young people are playing the vibrant and imaginative character's in “Disney's Alice in Wonderland, Jr.”, the 17th offering from Tandem Productions in Sheridan.

Not one, but three girls are playing the role of Alice, because, as those who know the story well, she becomes very tall and very tiny. Playing the “regular-sized” Alice is Mariah Olesen, who will be a sophomore this fall at Sheridan High School. She discusses the role.

Tandem's players “age out” after their Freshman year, since they're eligible to be in the high school productions. Also a sophomore in the fall, Madison Farr is nearly 6' tall, and appropriately cast as “Tall Alice”. She explains the three-person acting challenge.

And playing “Small Alice” at 4'2” is Rowan Heil. She will be a 4th grader in the fall. Echoing the others, she says.

As attendees enter the WYO lobby, they are treated to a series of amazing works of art by the young phenom Lauren Sarantopoulos. Lauren, now age 13, worked up the series when she was about ten years old.

They've enjoyed being home with her the past few years, but interested buyers can purchase the pieces after the run of the production. Lauren plays 1/3 of the trio portraying the wily Cheshire Cat, along with twins Katie Campbell and Sarah Campbell.

Playing the evil Queen of Hearts is 14-year-old Chaney Peterson, and she says playing against her real personality has been pretty fun.

Tandem's co-producer, Tami Davis, credits the hard work of Marty Williams and Laurie Dickinson with the colorful fantasy set, as well as the assistance of her daughter, Caitlin Stroup, husband Richard Davis, and past Tandem actors for helping with the large cast. Also this year, she hit the jackpot with having a large amount of boys taking part.

“Alice in Wonderland, Jr.” runs through Saturday, June 18th at the WYO. Tickets are available through the WYO Box Office or online at wyotheater.com.

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