Menlo News May 17, 2023

Middle School Drama Presents Wonderland: Alice’s Rock & Roll Adventure

Take a peek through the looking glass at the last performance of the year!

It’s a rock-and-roll leap down into the rabbit hole, as the Middle School Drama department presents their final production of the school year! Wonderland: Alice’s Rock & Roll Adventure is a modern twist on a classic tale, featuring classic rock, ska, punk, and ballads. The magical world of Wonderland promises to delight students and parents alike, as they watch Alice make her journey of self-discovery, confront the Jabberwocky, and find her true voice!

“This show is all about what it means to grow up and how to handle the challenges of adulthood, which is what I think middle school is all about,” says drama teacher Sarah Cloward. “Students are emerging from elementary school into a place where they need to take ownership over their schedules, their coursework, and their emotions. Alice learns lessons about being a good leader, managing her temper, learning who to trust, and fighting against those nagging self-doubts that never seem to leave you alone.”

In a Wonderland where the White Rabbit is modeled after Elvis Presley and the Queen of Hearts takes her inspiration from Janis Joplin, be prepared to also witness some caterpillar hippies as they slink across the stage during rousing, over-the-top musical numbers. But the show doesn’t start until the crowd is greeted by the timeless rock star call-out, “Atherton, how are we feeling tonight?!”

“When I first come on stage, I do some yelling and screaming,” says Naina ’28, about greeting the crowd at the start of the musical. “I also play Lorena, who is Alice’s older sister, but I’m also a majestic punk rock unicorn. It’s amazing. I’ve always loved music. I’ve done singing for many years and I also play the piano and write my own songs.

“I love that I can go out on stage to perform and enter into these characters,” she adds, when asked about what her participation in Middle School drama has taught her this past year. “It’s a place where I can escape from the daily realities of life and enter a new, calm, imaginative world. It always gives me a fresher look at how to deal with things in my real life. It’s also just so much fun.”

After a full season of rousing and energetic plays and musicals, Wonderland: Alice’s Rock & Roll Adventure might just be the Middle School’s most madcap musical of them all.

“The Middle School season was focused on over-the-top characters,” says Cloward. “And this Wonderland crew takes the cake!”

The Middle School Drama Department presents Wonderland: Alice’s Rock & Roll Adventure on Friday, May 19 and Saturday, May 20, 7:00 pm; Sunday, May 21, 2:00 pm in the Spieker Center for the Arts. For tickets, please visit: