Cast members for Liberty High School¿s production of ¿Alice in Wonderland¿ met up with library patrons ages 2 and older at the Eldersburg branch of Carroll County Public Library Feb. 21. Standing, from left: Mikayla Rodski, Anna Bratsakis, Lily Callahan, Sydney Jones, Delaney Goodwin as Alice, Patrick Owings as the Mad Hatter, and Jordan Spencer as the White Rabbit. Seated, from left: Mickaila Perry as the Caterpillar and Julia Creutzer as the Cheshire Cat. In the scene at the library, Rodski, Bratsakis, Callahan and Jones were working as puppeteers.
Cast members for Liberty High School¿s production of ¿Alice in Wonderland¿ met up with library patrons ages 2 and older at the Eldersburg branch of Carroll County Public Library Feb. 21. Standing, from left: Mikayla Rodski, Anna Bratsakis, Lily Callahan, Sydney Jones, Delaney Goodwin as Alice, Patrick Owings as the Mad Hatter, and Jordan Spencer as the White Rabbit. Seated, from left: Mickaila Perry as the Caterpillar and Julia Creutzer as the Cheshire Cat. In the scene at the library, Rodski, Bratsakis, Callahan and Jones were working as puppeteers. (Submitted photo)

The classic stereotype for students responding to news of a snow day is one of excitement and cheers. This isn't the case, however, for students involved in Liberty High School's production of "Alice in Wonderland."

Senior Carly Anders' reaction to the constant barrage of weather-related school closings: "It's been insane and so inconvenient," she said. "It's been a nightmare for scheduling."

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Junior Jordan Spencer said, "The weather has been the biggest thing against us."

The students were responding to the closing of schools on Monday, March 2. Rehearsals and set builds were canceled on days when school was closed or on weekend days, when the snow emergency plan was in effect.

The students were preparing for the show's scheduled opening on March 5, which has now been changed to March 6, due to weather delays. Anders, the lead set designer for the play, said, "We're actually building while we're running the show, and we've only been able to have one run of the show in costume."

Bridget Wetzel, president of the Liberty Drama Boosters, has faith in the production team and the students. "These kids are very resilient and very hard-working," she said. "The majority of these kids act like professionals — they'll be ready."

Evening performances of "Alice in Wonderland" are scheduled for 7 o'clock March 6, 7, 13 and 14. Matinees are scheduled for 2 p.m. March 7 and 14.

All performances will be in the Schnorr Auditorium at Liberty High School, 5855 Bartholow Road, Eldersburg.

Tickets are $10 in advance and $12 at the door. Tickets that would allow for advanced seating an hour before performance time cost $15. The number of advanced-seating tickets is limited for each performance.

A special option for younger audience members is joining the cast for Tea with the Mad Hatter at 12:30 p.m. March 7 or 14 in the school's media center. Only 50 tickets for Tea with the Mad Hatter are available for each date, costing $20 per person and including advanced seating.

Spencer, who is the lead designer for front of house (lobby design), explained that Tea with the Mad Hatter ties in with Liberty Drama's tradition of wanting to give back to the community. For many years, the program has offered themed events in conjunction with theatrical productions.

"The tea party this year will be an event to let the kids have tea, do crafts, and spend time with the characters and make their experience even better," said Spencer.

The party refreshments will include tea bag cookies — shortbread dipped in chocolate — along with playing card Rice Krispies treats, iced tea and lemonade. In addition to making a Mad Hatter hat for themselves, participants can get autographs and have photos taken with the Wonderland characters.

Tickets for Tea with the Mad Hatter, which must be purchased in advance, or for any of the performances, are available online with a small service charge at http://www.lhsdramaclub.com or at the school's box office in the lobby from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., when the school is open. More information can be obtained at the website or by calling the school at 410-751-3560.

Liberty's "Alice in Wonderland" offers a different take on the story than that told in the Disney or Tim Burton movies. The script is based on Lewis Carroll's books, "Alice in Wonderland" and "Through the Looking Glass."

"It's sort of like an alternate universe," said Anders. "It's been a big adjustment for the design team — making our own twisted reality in the show. We had a dramaturg who worked on the show to make sure that things were accurate for the Victorian time period."

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In addition to their production roles, both Anders and Spencer have on-stage roles in "Alice in Wonderland." Spencer is playing the White Rabbit, while Anders is playing the Queen of Hearts.

"Alice in Wonderland" will be Anders' last play at Liberty, ending a journey on stage that began when she was an eighth-grader playing a role in the school's presentation of "Peter Pan."

"It's very bittersweet," she said, "because I'm ready to go on to new adventures, but we're leaving our group that's so close. It's a family, and I'm really glad that I got to be part of it for so long."

Anders is looking forward to her final role as the Queen, though. "It's royalty, and it's the show's only real villain," she said. "I love it."

Track and field program

The Eldersburg Rogue Runners will offer the ERR Arrows, a youth track and field program for ages 6 and up. The season will run March 19 through June 2.

The program will meet Tuesday and Thursday evenings at South Carroll High School, 1300 W. Old Liberty Road, Winfield. Athletes will be divided into age-specific groups and will have workouts that will focus on their specialty, whether it's sprinting, distance running or field events.

Before Carroll County Public Schools' spring break, the trainees will meet in a large group from 5:30 to 7 p.m. After spring break, ages 10 and younger will meet from 5:30 to 6:15 p.m. and those older than 10 will meet from 6:15 to 7:15 p.m.

Meets will be scheduled with other clubs on weekends throughout the season, but athletes are not required to compete in specific meets.

Doug Fleming and Sherry Stick are the head coaches for the program. Parent volunteer coaches are being recruited, as well.

The cost is $45 for the first family member and $40 for each additional family member. That fee includes membership in the Eldersburg Rogue Runners.

There will be a uniform fee of approximately $40 that will be collected at a later date. Some meets will include entry fees, usually $5 per meet. Separate memberships will be required for anyone to compete at the nationals.

Register online at http://www.farc.sportssignup.com or print out the forms available at http://errun.org/arrows/track-and-field-documents and mail the registration with a check written to Eldersburg Rogue Runners to the address provided.

For more information, check the errun.org website, email errmembership@gmail.com or call 410-549-6296 ext. 5.

The Eldersburg Rogue Runners organization is part of the Freedom Area Recreation Council.

Final performance

The Carrolltowne Players will present the final performance of "Annie, Jr." at 2 p.m. Sunday, March 8, at Carrolltowne Elementary School, 6542 Ridge Road, Eldersburg.

Tickets are $8 in advance and $9 at the door, if available. Advance purchase is available at http://www.carrolltowneplayers.com.

Nancy McKenzie covers Berrett, Eldersburg, Flohrville, Gaither, Gist, Johnsville, Louisville, Marriottsville and Sykesville. Contact her at 410-848-2260 or mckenzietimes@comcast.net.

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