Collaborative Theatre to Stage Avant-Garde ALICE IN WONDERLAND
The Collaborative Theatre Company will present "Alice in Wonderland" as its final show of its second season from June 9-25 at Fells Point Corner Theatre.
The Collaborative is presenting the Manhattan Project's version of Lewis Carroll's 1865 children's story, which the company created through experimental rehearsals in the mid-1970s that culminated in an avant-garde interpretation of the classic work. The Collaborative is putting a philosophical 20th-century spin on MP's version, with design inspired by "a trip into grandma's attic," according to Director Kel Millionie, who is also the production's lighting and set designer.
"We are reimagining Alice's antics in a raw journey through the human condition that is informed by some of the great minds of the 20th century, including Freud, Jung, Kafka and Dali," Millionie says. "This show is a roller coaster of emotional and sociological insights. It's ridiculous and utterly fantastical, and there are several moments that reflect on turbulent political climates, the id and even abstract expressionism."
Alice's adventures are told by an ensemble cast of six actors performing 32 different characters, including Humpty Dumpty (Chris Cotterman), Queen of Hearts (Holly Gibbs), Mad Hatter (Gabe Fremuth), Caterpillar (Nick Fruit), Cheshire Cat (Barbara Hauck) and dozens more larger-than-life characters. Sarah Burton completes the cast as Alice.
In addition to Millionie, the production team includes Christopher Flint (sound design), Ann Turiano (costume design), Mia Fiorentino (props), Kris Messer (dramaturg), Heidi Butcher (stage manager) and Aladrian Wetzel (producer).
The Collaborative will host a special gala Saturday, June 17. "Revelry: An (Actual) Tea Party" will include cocktails, Victorian finger foods, music, games, a silent auction and a contest for best outfit. Admission is free, and a cash bar will be available. The party will begin after the 8 p.m. Saturday performance of "Alice in Wonderland."
"Alice in Wonderland" opens Friday, June 9, with performances at 8 p.m. Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays; and at 2 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays at Fells Point Corner Theatre, 251 S. Ann St., Baltimore. The show is approximately 85 minutes. For more information, visit www.collaborativetheatre.org.
ABOUT THE ARTISTS:
Sarah Burton (Alice) is thrilled to be making her Collaborative Theatre Company debut! Local credits include Rocky Horror Show (Janet) at iron Crow Theatre, 25th Annual...Spelling Bee (Marcy Park), Spamalot and A Very Merry Christmas with the Wat Off Broadway Dinner Theatre. Regional: Oklahoma! (Ado Annie), Memphis, White Christmas. Sarah would like to thank the entire cast and crew who make this all possible!
Chris Cotterman (Humpty Dumpty) Chris is extremely pleased to be making his debut with The Collaborative. He is the Associate Artistic Director of the Baltimore Shakespeare Factory, and has worked with BSF on stage in Antony and Cleopatra (Mark Antony), The Winter's Tale (Leontes), The Merchant of Venice (Bassanio), Richard III (Richard), Hamlet (Horatio), Romeo and Juliet (Friar Laurence), The Two Gentleman of Verona (Proteus), The Taming of the Shrew (Petruchio), and Love's Labour's Lost (Berowne); and as director of Julius Caesar, As You Like It, Much Ado About Nothing, A Midsummer Night's Dream, and this summer's Love's Labour's Lost. He also directed the world premiere of the recently-published Welcome to the White Room, for Glass Mind. Love and thanks to many near and far.
Gabe Fremuth (Mad Hatter) works both sides of stage and screen. After appearing in a few small TV roles, he later helped to develop and stage several youth and high school theatre productions in Pennsylvania and Maryland. In 2010, he earned his degree in film production from Emerson College. His thesis short film saw play in festivals across the nation, and led him to another passion, writing comic books. He published his first comic story in 2016. Gabe is proud to be a part of this production, his first stage work in several years. Gabe works with a team in Johns Hopkins University's School of Education to produce training and development materials for early childhood education.
Nick Fruit (Caterpillar) is eager to make his debut with The Collaborative Theatre. Local credits include: The Zero Hour (Doug) Rocky Horror Pictures Show (Brad) Wild Party (ensemble) with Iron Crow Theatre. Nick is a recent graduate from Towson University and is very grateful for his role within Alice In Wonderland.
Holly Gibbs (The Queens) is thrilled to be involved with her second Collaborative production here at FPCT. The first was the box-office smash, The 39 Steps last year. Some favorite past roles include: Veronica Novak in God of Carnage, Shelby in Steel Magnolias, and Constanze in Amadeus. Holly earned her BA in Theatre at Goucher College, and has performed on many of the areas stages including Single Carrot, Spotlighters, and DCT. Look for her later this year in the BSF production of Love's Labour's Lost, where she will be playing the fantastical Spaniard, Don Adriano de Armado. Much love to KC.
Barbara Hauck (Cheshire Cat) is pleased to be joining The Collaborative Theatre for the first time in Alice in Wonderland. Most recently, she played Fluellen in Cohesion's rendition of Henry V. Before that, you may have seen her as Lulu in the premier production of Exit Pluto at The Strand. Other local credits include the other Boleyn girl in Chesapeake Shakespeare Company's Anne of the Thousand Days, W in Cock, Alais in Lion in Winter, Adriana in Comedy of Errors, Mercutio in Romeo & Juliet and Queen Margaret in Richard III, among many others. Barbara has studied at the Gaiety School of Acting in Dublin and holds a BFA in Acting from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. She is very grateful for the opportunity to lend her skills to this talented group of artists. Cheers!
Kel Millionie (Director. Lighting Design, Set Design) is a Lighting Designer, Director, Scenographer, Producer, and Theatre Artist residing in Baltimore, Maryland. He creates and facilitates engaging new performative works and large-scale events in the Mid-Atlantic region. Kel's design work has been described as "hauntingly ethereal" (The New York Times) "poetic, [and] atmospheric" (Baltimore Sun) as well as "effective, [and] plot driven" and "gorgeous" (The Washington Post) and "part Robert Wilson / part Meridith Monk" (ionarts). Kel's directorial work has been credited as "captivating and inspiring' (The Seattle Times) and it is said that "he creates compelling stage pictures and movement" (The Baltimore Sun). Recently, Mr. Millionie has designed for: DNA Theatre (where he also served as the company's Artistic & General Director for 11 years), Loyola University, Johns Hopkins University, The Collaborative Theatre Co.(TCT), The Encounter, and Submersive Productions. Kel actively collaborates with several theatre artists and strongly believes in the cross-pollination of theatre-makers and genres. When not in the theatre, Kel is found lighting exhibitions at The Baltimore Museum of Art, designing websites, coaching non-profits, and cooking delicious food. More information at www.KelCooksForYou.com
Christopher Flint (Sound Design) is a Baltimore native and currently is the Technical Director at Gilman School, where his design & technical credits include Curtains, The Addams Family, Too Good to Say Goodbye, Nice Work if You Can Get It, Spamalot, Biloxi Blues, The Canterville Ghost, Damn Yankees, The Government Inspector, How to Succeed In Business..., Tartuffe, and The Witch of Blackbird Pond. Other design & technical credits include: Blackbird, Heinie Goochems (FPCT); The Zero Hour, The Well of Horniness, The Revelation of Bobby Pritchard (Iron Crow); The Elephant Man, The 39 Steps (Collaborative Theatre); On the Verge, Little Shop of Horrors, The Rover, Twelfth Night, Six Characters in Search of an Author, Cabaret, and many others (Franklin & Marshall College).
Ann Turiano (Costume Design) An actor, director, and dramaturg, Ann earned her her BA in Acting from Point Park University and her MA in Advanced Theatre Practice from the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in London. Directing credits include The Rover at Notre Dame of Maryland University, The Zero Hour at Iron Crow Theatre and the original, devised RSVP with Glass Mind Theatre. She is the Director of Education & Literature for Iron Crow Theatre and serves on the board of The Collaborative Theatre. She is delighted to be working on a show with her husband, so that they can actually see each other once in awhile.
Mia Fiorentino (Props) is a visual artist living in Baltimore City. Having grown up in New Jersey, she moved to Maryland to pursue a BFA in Painting and a concentration in Theatre at MICA. There, she performed in three productions and managed props for two. It was at MICA that Mia met Kel Millionie, and they have since worked together on numerous occasions. Kel introduced her to The Collaborative Theatre Company and invited her to join the team for "Alice," and Mia is grateful for the opportunity to flex her theatre muscles in the position of Props Coordinator. In addition to her studio practice and theatrical pursuits, Mia is the Visual Manager at a Free People store in Annapolis, MD. Thanks to TCT for including me in this journey!
Kris Messer (Dramaturg) holds an M.F.A. in playwriting from Brown University and a Ph.D. in Theatre History and Performance Studies from the University of Maryland, College Park. Her interests are in community-based and socially engaged performance and dramaturgy, and she is the resident dramaturg at Cohesion Theatre Company where she has most recently worked on Neverwhere and Henry V. Kris is thrilled to be working on her first show with the The Collaborative Theatre. In addition to dramaturgy, Kris teaches performance, theatre, and writing in the Department of Humanistic Studies at MICA, and she works with their curricular student performance group Rivals of the West where she was Associate Director of their production of The Pillowman.
Heidi Butcher (Stage Manager) With a background in graphic and computer design, Heidi is relatively new to the theatre world. With a marketing background, she joined the Board of The Collaborative Theatre in 2015 after being exposed to TCT's production of The 39 Steps. Heidi has completed program design/layout for Blackbird, The Elephant Man, and Alice in Wonderland. She also ran sound and projections for The Elephant Man. Originally, from Connecticut, Heidi graduated from MICA and now resides in Baltimore with her husband Tom and their pack of animals.
Aladrian C. Wetzel (Producer) is a Baltimore based theater artist who is excited to make her debut as the Producer for Alice in Wonderland. She last collaborated with the Collaborative Theatre Company as Mrs. Kendal/Pinhead in The Elephant Man. Her most recent credit was as Prospero in Annex Theater's production of The Tempest. Aladrian is proud to have worked in some capacity (actor/script curator/director/stage manager) with several theaters in Baltimore to include Vagabond Players, Baltimore Shakespeare Factory, Cohesion Theatre Company, Anne Arundel Community Theater, Spotlighters Theatre, Annex Theater, Collaborative Theatre Company, and Strand Theater Company. When not working on a show she volunteers as a member of Fells Point Corner Theatre and Baltimore Playwrights Festival and earns her MARC train merit badge riding to her job in the Pentagon. She'd like to thank Kel for giving her a shot at producing and the Production staff for a job well done executing this fantastical show.
Christina Elwell (Light Crew) is a 2013 graduate of Loyola University Maryland with a BA in Theatre. She has been working for the past few years as a freelance lighting designer, master electrician, electrician, and followspot operator at various theatres in the Baltimore-DC area, including Baltimore's Center Stage, Signature Theatre (Arlington), The Collaborative Theatre, and Iron Crow Theatre. She is currently also the part-time Exhibition Lighting Assistant at the Baltimore Museum of Art under their Lighting Designer, Kel Millionie. She is very excited to be back working for a second time with The Collaborative Theatre at FPCT!
Julie Anderson (Stage Management Intern) is a recent graduate of Loyola University Maryland, where her stage management credits include Wit, Macbeth, Bus Stop, and Clybourne Park. She has also stage managed for Single Carrot Theatre (A Short Reunion). Julie would like to thank Anthony and Heidi for their guidance and encouragement.
The Collaborative Theatre Company (TCT) is a collective of professional theater artists in Baltimore whose combined experience in professional theater totals over 100 years. The Collaborative's founders are Steven Shriner, Kel Millionie, Kathryn Falcone and Anthony Lane Hinkle. The organization received 501(c)(3) non-profit status in the Summer of 2015. The mission of TCT is to create unique, thought-provoking performances with an engaging point of view that values artistic excellence, exceptional craftsmanship, and meaningful connections. The name "The Collaborative Theatre" drives the company to seek out new relationships and foster cross-pollination of theatrical ideas, concepts, companies, artists and thinkers.