First and second graders from across Spring ISD got the chance last week to attend Spring High School’s 2022-23 children’s theater production of “Alice in Wonderland,” performed Oct. 18-21 in the performing arts center at Spring High School.
With eight daytime shows – one each morning and afternoon over the course of the four days – roughly 6,500 Spring ISD elementary students took part in the live theatrical event, with full staging, sets, costumes and lighting courtesy of the school’s Lion Players Theatre Company.
“Spring High School was pleased this year to host the children’s show at our campus and welcome our elementary audiences from across Spring ISD to enjoy the magic of live theater,” said Principal Pablo Resendiz. “It’s a tradition that over the years has inspired many younger students to pursue their creativity and interests in the arts, and we’re glad to be a part of providing that inspiration to some of the youngest students across our district.”
The annual children’s show’s return to the stage at Spring High School also marked the return of a Spring ISD theater tradition. For the past few years, Spring High School Director of Theatre Marilyn Ocker and her young thespians have taken a scaled-down version of each year’s show on the road, with three separate casts traveling out to the elementary schools and performing in gyms, cafeterias and multi-purpose rooms. Ocker and her troupe were excited this fall to welcome the large crowds of younger students back to the theater at Spring High School.
“I love it!” Ocker said. “It’s just amazing seeing the looks on the faces of the kids when the lights go down and the curtain opens and the show begins.”
Alicia Sanchez, a sophomore who is new to Spring High School this year and played the role of Alice in the production, said that hosting the younger students at the campus was a great introduction for them to what Spring ISD’s Performing and Visual Arts programs have to offer.
“Having the kids see the high school, and to see all their amazed faces, it’s just pretty cool,” Sanchez said. “I’m hoping some of them will want to join theater, too, and that we have future light board operators and sound operators and future actresses and actors out there in the audience.”
Spring High School senior Julia Gilbertson, who played the role of the enigmatic Cheshire Cat, agreed. Gilbertson, who has been involved in the annual children’s production throughout her high school years, said that performing for the first and second graders at the high school this year was an experience she won’t soon forget.
“You never know what you’re going to get when you interact with the kids,” Gilbertson said after the group’s final daytime performance on Friday afternoon. “It creates a whole new environment, and a whole different show, in a way. They bump up the energy, and it’s just so much fun.”