© 2020 by GayInnocentHeartless Theatrics.

Through the Looking Glass adapted by Josephine Czarnecki

Through the Looking Glass was a youth show produced with actors 8-13 via Santa Cruz Parks & Recreation Youth Theatre, 2017.

In adapting this script, we tried to consider the modern audience of the late-Victorian classic. Britishisms were switched to Americanisms for our Californian audience ("Hatta" doesn't read at Hatter in these accents), and old tales that had no cultural weight were dropped in favour of nursery rhymes still living; the "Lion and the Unicorn" recounting became the trial of Jack & Jill where Jill accuses Jack of pushing her down the hill. 

In the production of the adaptation, we also used a very empty stage and constructed world. Nothing remained consistent except the chequerboard gobos on the stage, suggesting and aiding us with the dreamlike nature of the tale. In the book itself, Alice moves from square to square of the chessboard sometimes by moving (on the train), sometimes by alternate rules of physics (running at top speed to stay in one place), and occasionally by the morphing and fading of surroundings.

The morph into the No-Name Forest where Alice almost forgets herself straddles the space between dream and nightmare, which is more present in Carroll's original writings than might be thought for a children's book. After all, this might be a tale for kids or adults, as he prefaces the novel with a poem containing the line "we are but older children dear, who fret to find their bedtime near".