EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Lifestyle

November 6, 2013

Follow the children to Wonderland in production of 'Alice Jr.'

It’s a classic novel and a Disney blockbuster, and now it’s coming to a stage in Andover.

“Alice in Wonderland Jr.,” featuring young cast members from every elementary and middle school in Andover, invites audience members to jump down the rabbit hole to join Alice, the Mad Hatter and the rest of the crew on their magical adventures.

“This show is particularly fun with the bright colors, familiar music and unique costumes and characters,” said Kim Sousa of Andover, whose daughter Farrah is in the show.

The play, which is taking place at the Doherty Middle School Auditorium, is being staged by Andover Youth Services, which recently took over a new local theater group, TheatreWorks. Amy Wilkins Blanchette of Andover, who is well known in the local theater community, was hired to as director.

“I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work with AYS TheatreWorks”, said Blanchette, who has a bachelor of fine arts degree in Musical Theater from Elon University and is a proud alum of Merrimack Valley Junior Theater.

“I’m so happy to be able to give back to the community that gave so much to me. I constantly hear the legendary (MJT artistic director) Mrs. Walker in my head when I work with the kids, but I really wish I could whistle like her when getting the kids attention.”

Blanchette is directing and choreographing the show. For musical direction she reached out to Andover High School senior Carter Letsky.

“Carter is very talented,” Blanchette said. “He’s an amazing piano player and stage performer himself, and I am so happy to be working on ‘Alice’ with him. He’s really risen to the occasion and the kids love him. “

The kids also are fans of their director. Sousa said that Blanchette has excelled in her new role with TheatreWorks.

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