FAIRFIELD, Conn. — There’s a lot of singing going on in the Lopez family’s home this week.
That’s because not one, but two of the Fairfield family’s children are performing in “Allison Wonderland,” North Stratfield School’s much-anticipated annual play, which takes to the stage this weekend.
“There’s always a lot of singing in our house, and even more since we got the play music,” said mom Erin Lopez. “My kids love being in drama!”
Well, they picked the right elementary school. For the past 10 years, North Stratfield has put on an original play written, directed and choreographed by professional actress and director Maria Vee.
This year is no different with a full 90 students getting in the act. Children in grades 2 through 5 play all of the characters, singing and dancing before a usually packed house.
Vee had been a regular at Bridgeport’s Downtown Cabaret Theater, when she was asked to staff an after school drama program. That led to summer camps and then on to the annual North Stratfield performances.
“I found I absolutely loved teaching and working with young kids,” the New Haven resident said. “And it’s grown and grown every year.”
This year’s performance is a modern take on “Alice in Wonderland,” with Allison falling down a rabbit hole while searching for her cell phone. Once in Wonderland, she learns some lessons about social media and being a fully realized person.
”Kids are so obsessed with their phones,” said Vee, who has performed in regional theater, Off-Broadway and on national tours. “We cultivate ourselves so much on social media, but there’s so much more to us.”
The popular drama program is the largest at any Fairfield elementary school, Lopez said. The effort involves several volunteer parents, who work on costumes, props and scenery and help supervise rehearsals and work backstage on show nights.
Parent co-chairs Jennifer Rosenberg, Sheri Klein and Jen Henry led the drama committee.
“We’re so lucky to have Maria work with us year after year,” Lopez said. “She’s got a way of taking these well-known stories and twisting them into something new and fun. She’s amazing with the kids, and they love her so much.”
Lopez daughter, Lilly, 10, is excited to play one of three Cheshire Cats and her son, 7-year-old Tyler, is part of the second grade chorus, decked out as playing cards from the Queen of Heart’s deck.
“He’s so excited to finally be in the show after watching his sister the last three years,” Lopez said.
“Allison Wonderland” takes to the stage at Fairfield Warde High School at 7 p.m. on Feb. 3 and 4. Tickets are $10 at the door.
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