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"Alice" is A Love Letter: A Review

Every four years beginning in 1924, one of Meredith’s most beloved traditions makes its way back into the spotlight. The production of “Alice in Wonderland” had its 100-year anniversary of performances from Feb. 8-10. The long-standing tradition carried on the legacy of Alice by having sold out shows all weekend long. On Friday, Feb. 9, students began lining up as early as 6 a.m. to secure their spot in line in front of Jones Auditorium. Even though this is the first time that Alice has been a ticketed event, students who were devoted to securing a good spot in the audience were camped out for multiple hours prior. 

In order to maintain the element of surprise for future Meredith students and Alice go-ers, no identities of faculty members or the characters they play were disclosed prior to the performances. One of the most exciting components of the tradition is speculating with fellow students on which of their professors are participating, and which characters they are going to be. After seeing it for myself on opening night, I will definitely say that it was well worth the wait. 

The production follows the story of Alice in Wonderland, the beloved children’s book published by Lewis Caroll in 1865. However, the material of the production incorporates nods to other Meredith traditions, pop culture references of the past year like the Barbie and Taylor Swift craze and faculty members breaking the fourth wall to poke fun at what department they teach in. Audience go-ers were let in on the joke when references were made by certain characters about being fond of the English department, or having a plethora of study abroad knowledge.

Since every aspect of the tradition is kept a secret to most students, the audience full of those who had no idea which faculty members they were going to see on stage kept the crowd buzzing the whole time. This aspect made it that much more exciting when a professor you recognized showed up as one of the famous Wonderland characters. Getting to see so many familiar faces on stage who were so devoted to putting on a show that students would remember forever was just as whimsical and magical as the world of Wonderland itself. 

The devotion of the Meredith faculty and staff to keep this tradition alive shined through on stage for everyone in the audience during each performance. Everything from the costumes to the choreography, to the several lines of laugh-out-loud dialogue, “Alice” was everything I would've wanted and expected it to be. Getting to experience this tradition alongside my friends and fellow students during the 100th year was one of the most memorable moments during my time at Meredith. As a member of the Class of 2024, these last four years have come with several uphill battles to overcome. The “Alice in Wonderland” tradition was referred to by Jean Jackson as “the faculty’s love letter to the students,” and I could not have agreed more. It was incredibly apparent how much fun each person was having up on stage, and that in turn made the audience enjoy it that much more. 

Being able to see the production once as a student only made me more excited to come back in 2028 as an alumnae to see how the production changed and how it stayed the same. Here’s to 100 years of Alice, and to 100 more! 

By Haileigh West, Associate Editor

Photo courtesy of Haileigh West, Associate Editor


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