Alice' comes to ES-M this weekend

Five seniors in East Syracuse-Minoa High School's new Introduction to Directing class are producing this weekend's play, "Alice in Wonderland." The noncredit, non-graded class will become a half-year, half-credit course in the arts program next year.

"That we know of, this is the only one in the area," said Maureen Natali, English teacher.

Natali, who oversees the students in all aspects of directing, said the idea developed through John Rizzo, a student and primary director of the production. His college major will be in film direction but he has had no practice directing up until now.

"The experience has been great and will give me a head start in the directing world," Rizzo said. "It is teaching me how to use characters and get into the background of what I need to do."

Natali first offered him an independent study but instead, the concept blossomed into a noncredit class with four others involved: Jen Menter, Nikkita Richards, Mike Stoddard and Christie Donato. And there are kids who can't wait to sign up for the course next year, Natali said.

Various responsibilities include holding auditions, casting characters, and looking at backdrops.

"It's not just a script," Natali said. "You need to bring it to life."

The cast includes 41 actors comprised of freshman, sophomores, juniors and seniors.

Performances begin at 7 p.m. Friday April 4 and at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. Saturday April 5 in the high school auditorium. ES-M High School is located at 6400 Fremont Road in East Syracuse. Tickets cost $7.

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