Creating Wonderland: Drama department talks Homecoming

While it’s easy enough to read about a fantasy world in a book or see one in a movie, building a fantasy world is an entirely different dragon to slay, according to drama department head Chris Evans.
”[The hardest part] is like a play, bringing it from page to stage. [You want to make it] as exciting on those flats as it is in your head. And it is right now, it really is,” Evans said.
With a theme like “real Rustlers in a fantasy land,” the building of a spectacular Homecoming set was bound to be right up the drama department’s alley.
As the drama department leader, Evans always gets first pick of his department’s theme, and the choice was clear this year.
“The first thing that came to my mind was ‘Alice in Wonderland,’” Evans said. “We can have fun with that; the characters, it’s colorful, and the big thing about the Homecoming set is glitter. It’s got to shine.”
But all that glitters is not gold for the hard workers of stagecraft and drama — it’s a lot of work, and it’s been happening since June.
“About three years ago the Homecoming was about two weeks after we got back into school,” Evans said. “So I thought, what if I just did some stuff over the summer? [So] I put the call out to some students. I had so many students come in during the summer to help out with the coronation set. So we started doing it every year.”
Evans said that his idea was clear since he decided the theme, and after consulting with the department they went with an original approach to the set. What was more fantasy-oriented than a storybook?
“We decided to go with Lewis Carroll’s original drawings; not the Disney drawings, not the Johnny Depp Wonderland, but with the guy who wrote the book and illustrated it,” Evans said. “We just thought it looked really fun.”
Fun, full of creativity, and rife with the hard work and tireless efforts of those who dedicate a massive amount of time to showing what the drama department has to offer.
“I’m not an artist. I’m the concept guy,” Evans said. “But what I’ve got is some really artistic people, artists who started this summer who were freshmen last year. [People] who started this summer and [who] are staying to the very end, who are still working. I’m really proud.Students feel that they have the ownership in it. This is theirs. That’s what I teach. That’s what we do.”
Advanced drama student senior Autumn Place takes extreme ownership in her part of drama and Homecoming. Place has been working throughout the summer with the department to help ensure Homecoming is the best it can be.
“Basicly the [Homecoming] preparation for drama and stagecraft begins as soon as we know the theme,” She said. “As soon as we know [that] we start planning and even have Homecoming work parties over the summer where we build the set and bring in any ideas.”
Place said that Homecoming is one of the most exciting parts of the year for her, especially the skit that the advanced drama class put together.
“We’re doing a skit during coronation, which is going to be very fun. I’m hoping it will pep up the crowd for other coronation events that [are] going to be happening,” Place said.
One thing’s for sure, according to Place though, and that’s the abundance of glitter- lots and lots of glitter.
“Homecoming week is actually a really fun time for the drama department, especially because of all the glitter we get to work with,” Place said. “For about a month consisting of Homecoming and after you’ll just find glitter. On stage, or on your clothes, it’s just always there.”