Theater Works’ pandemic bending production of "Curiouser & Curiouser" has left its stamp on the local theater scene with a complete sell out of the extension, which runs through Nov. 1.
The initial run began Sept. 10 and ended Oct. 18.
"A Curiouser Nutcracker" kicks off Nov. 27 in the same space, and runs through Dec. 30.
Behind the scenes, artist have also left their stamp on the Peoria Center for Performing Arts for this immersive and interactive take on a literature classic.
Set builders transformed the venue with focused attention to detail — Theater Works and Peoria-based Iron Key Studios partnered to bring the appearance of stained glass art to the entryway that opens the action of the play.
Technical Director Heather Feeney created the artwork, and Iron Key Studios Founder Melissa Zimmer translated it to temporary stained glass panels, with the help of 25 volunteers from Wham Art Association, Peoria Unified students, community residents, friends, family and Iron Key employees.
“We painted on clear vinyl to give the illusion of stained glass art work,” Ms. Zimmer said.
The windows were inspired by John Tenniel’s original artwork in "Alice in Wonderland" and "Through the Looking Glass" to fit the production of "Curiouser & Curiouser."
Ms. Zimmer and Ms. Feeney worked together to determine the best technique for installing the panels, and continued to improve upon the process until completion.
“In Curiouser & Curiouser, the audience is Alice, so I saw that as a great opportunity to be more inclusive and diversify the Alices,” Ms. Feeney said.
The window project was funded by the Arts Enhancement Initiative through the city of Peoria. The grant was written and approved as a collaboration between Iron Key Studios and Theater Works, each receiving $5,000.
The creative team and cast of "Curiouser & Curiouser" was tasked with creating a play suitable for the precautions needed during a time of pandemic — a theater experience with safety as a top priority, requiring innovation and out-of-the-box thinking.
Each performance only allows Up to 10 audience members to explore the world of Wonderland, where every theater, rehearsal space and hallway in the Peoria Center for the Performing Arts is the setting for the world of “Alice in Wonderland.” Audience members experience Wonderland as Alice would, exploring rooms, discovering scenes, meeting inhabitants of Wonderland, and enjoying performances in a new way to experience live theater.