Video by TheatreJones
The Division of Theatre at SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts will present Alice Underground, a new play developed and directed by 2010 Meadows Prize winner Will Power, October 19-23 in the Margo Jones Theatre of the Owen Arts Center, 6101 Bishop Blvd. on the SMU campus.
Power, who has been hailed as “the best verse playwright in America” (New York Magazine) whose work “…combines the complexity of serious drama with the visual and sonic arsenal of MTV” (The New York Times), has spent the past month on the SMU campus creating the new work from the ground up with Meadows student actors and designers. Reflecting Power’s artistic interest in adapting an older work and giving it a modern spin, the group chose the classic tale Alice in Wonderland as a starting point. “One of the key questions we wanted to explore was, who are these characters today, in our world?” said Power. “For instance, who is the White Rabbit? Two of our participants said that in their neighborhood, the White Rabbit is the single mom working two jobs, always on the run – so that’s who the White Rabbit became in our play.”
The play also looks at the collision of cultures, and the idea that some subcultures are gradually becoming more mainstream. “What happens when you’re from one culture, like Alice, and you bump up against something entirely different?” said Power. “In today’s world the issues might be about politics, or race, or gender roles. What makes sense, and what doesn’t? It’s about challenging your assumptions, learning to deal with the world, and becoming richer for it – all ideas that are relevant not only for college students but, really, for all of us.”