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Theater Director's Alice Obsession Brings New "Wonderland"

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Theater Director's Alice Obsession Brings New "Wonderland"

MagicalPhotos.com/Mitchell Zachs

Stephanie Ansin is in Wonderland.

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Most people fall for Alice and the beguiling Wonderland when they are kids. But theater director Stephanie Ansin's infatuation with the character hit her not long ago -- and now she's making up for lost time.

Ansin is adapting and directing a Miami version of Lewis Carroll's classic English fairy tale, "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland," for the PlayGround Theatre.

"Honestly, I had never thought much about Alice before," Ansin told Niteside. "I really started getting fascinated in doing a show when I was reading the book. I really wanted to understand why it had endured all these years."

She added, "I wanted to make this relevant to our time, and to the kids in our community."

The play, which debuted this week and runs until December 18, incorporates references from Ansin's life, pop culture and, of course, the Magic City. For instance, Alice attends Miami's Carrollton High School, characters such as the turtle are now suited up in Miami Dolphins gear and the crabs are stone crabs. 

"The garden Alice is trying to get to, all those images are from Fairchild Tropical Garden and Vizcaya and we just changed the color so it doesn't look totally realistic," Ansin explained.  "And the plush canopy of trees that line Old Cutler is the rabbit hole."

Even the music takes an inventive turn, with the score covering everything from baroque to hip hop.

"You really travel in time in this show," said Ansin. "It has been so much fun, I would definitely do this again."
 

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