Meet the Artist: Alexandra Berryman

Hi! I’m Alexandra Berryman, and I am a senior this year. I have been interested in music and theater for as long as I can remember, though you can also find me reading Stephen King novels or attempting to write poetry.

What exactly do you do for Alice in Wonderland?

I play the Mad Hatter, an eccentric hat maker who suffers from severe mercury poisoning and has a penchant for tea parties that never end.

Do you have any stories from rehearsals, practices or crew sessions?

One of my favorite rehearsal moments was choreographing the mad tea party. The idea of the mad tea party is that all the characters are not sitting in chairs, but each is suspended in an aerial apparatus around a table that moves around the stage as the scene progresses. It was super fun to figure out new wacky poses at each seat in order to create a funny and visually exciting scene. It was equally as challenging learning how to project and speak clearly while hanging upside down from my knees.

Alice in Wonderland is about a fantastical land with many famous characters and Alice who ventures throughout.  How have you connected to the story?  

This story is just really fun, and you can see how much fun the cast is having when you watch the show, which I think is great. Alice’s story is one of imagination and whimsy, and I think it has allowed us all to tap into our creative sides and let loose a little bit onstage. The story itself facilitates a feeling of freedom in creating the show, and the fact that we are working with a malleable script only adds to it. Putting together this show has encouraged so much creativity on the part of the actors, and I’ve really enjoyed it.

You are using a script that was created at Homestead in 2015, how have you changed it?  What have you added or taken away?

It’s been really interesting to adapt the script to different actors. A lot of the changes we’ve made have been because an actor wanted to try something new. My favorite parts of rehearsals are those moments when someone says “What if instead I…” and it becomes a permanent part of the script. It’s so cool to witness the actors really taking charge of their roles and trying new things.

What’s one thing that is different in this play or rehearsal process than anything else we’ve done in the Homestead Theatre Department?

One thing that has been different for me personally is the inclusion of aerial components. We have incorporated some limited aerial in the past two years, but I myself have kept my feet on the ground for the most part. Becoming comfortable with aerial work and continuously improving my strength and skill has been really gratifying. I have found that aerial provides a physical creative outlet that I have thoroughly enjoyed, and I often find myself going through different potential movement sequences in my head and trying them out at rehearsal or during lunch. Nothing is more fun than finding a cool new pose on the lyra or improving my climbs on the silks.

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