The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

The student media organization of California State University Northridge

Daily Sundial

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Little theater, big production in ‘Alice Devised’

CSUN’s latest production, “Alice Devised” is a success. This haunting tale depicts the life and struggles of how three young Alices search for their voices in a stifling world. Each Alice represents her world in her respective way, but each Alice is also identifiable to an everyday person’s struggle to get by in this chaotic world.

The moment the play begins, the theater and stage are filled with the cast’s immense energy. This is not due to an elaborate spectacle of technical elements, but simply the actors’ strong voices.

Writer and director James DePaul led the actors and audience stylishly through a realistic but fanciful world. The set design by M. Barrett Cleveland supports the story’s path down a broken reflection of hope. The simple elegance of red and blue lighting, created by Simon Cleveland, placed a beautiful glow on stage. Lighting and scene design combined with the actors’ performances create a sense time, a main theme within the production.

Theater student Emily Berger’s superb costume design gave authenticity to the past and present time settings encountered in the play. Ryan Jordan, theater major, produced a haunting soundtrack that underscored the tone of “Alice Devised.” All the technical elements came together exquisitely.

Ryelee Kreeger gave a strong performance as London Alice. The conflicted childlike innocence of Victorian Alice is well played by Jessica Strohfeldt. Her connection with the play’s text and concepts produced stunning stage experssion of the character.

The fabulous singing performance of Jenna Zuccari, created her Alice. Zuccari’s mesmerizing eyes, Strohfeldt’s graceful glow on stage and Kreeger’s ability to captivate the audience’s attention is heightened by the combined struggles of the three Alices.

The Red Queen, played by Jesse Bethune, was graceful, enchanting and provided momentary comedic relief. Jon Zuber gave a beautifully maddening performance as the Mad Hatter. Ben Cox played the part of Charles Dodgson (Lewis Carroll), and brought a heartfelt understanding of Dodgson to the stage.

Time becomes maddening as the play progresses, but the audience is reminded to “not squander time, for that is what life is made of.” At certain moments dialogue was difficult to hear, but as the actors used massive amounts of energy during the production, their body language recovered to convey the events of the play.

“Alice Devised” will continue through April 30 in the Studio Theatre in Nordhoff Hall. There will be a question and answer session following tonight’s performance. Student and alumi tickets are $10, and gerenal admission $13.

Kristen Egermeier can be reached at

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