Kelsey is a Chicago based producer, actor, writer, critic, and mixologist. An alum of Black Box Acting’s ACADEMY Program, Kelsey curates “The Newness,” a monthly salon of new work. They also work closely with Trans Voices Cabaret Chicago as well as Chicago Theatre Access Auditions. Follow them on Insta! @playsandpours, @kelseylooks
Pictured: Production Photo for ALICE. Photo by Evan Hanover.
By Kelsey McGrath
It was a perfect fall afternoon. The sun was shining, the air was crisp, and we ventured down the rabbit hole. ALICE, presented by Upended Productions, is a wild adventure. The multi-disciplinary theatrical experience is curated by Neo-Futurist alumna Noelle Krimm, and deserves plenty of accolades. Guided by different rabbits, ALICE unravels as groups of 15 venture place to place and chapter by chapter throughout Evanston’s Main-Dempster Mile neighborhood. As Alice, the audience is the main character of the story as myriad characters and art forms meet then on their journey.
With a story that’s so familiar, this interpretation takes Alice in Wonderland on in an exciting and unpredictable way. Gameplay is a large part of the tour, but there’s enough to engage both kids and adults. Moments of vulnerability are able to resonate with everyone. It’s a great experience that provides an excellent opportunity to get to know the Evanston community. And it’s a well-organized event. Small groups leave the initial art gallery in shifts, and they never run into one another on the way. The variety of art and artists is astounding, ranging from visual art to puppetry, to music and tea.
The collective spirit of this project is wonder and silliness, a much-needed escape in trying times.
ALICE runs through October 21. For more information visit upendedproductions.com.