Theater benefits Boys and Girls Clubs


Actors of Alice in Wonderland rehearse at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater. The play, Alice in Wonderland, directed by Jacob Sexton, will be in theater this Friday. After 3 months of preparation, Sexton, Bloomington High School South senior, says he is “excited and terrified to see what people think.” Tiantian Zhang and Tiantian Zhang Buy Photos

Pushing a blue piano across the stage, 17-year-old Jacob Sexton directed his cast during its dress rehearsal Wednesday at the Buskirk-Chumley Theatre.

“Preparation for the performance has been a lot of hard work, but I believe we will pull it off,” Sexton said.

Solarium Productions will have its first performance of “Alice in Wonderland” at 7 p.m. Friday at the Buskirk-Chumley.

This will be Sexton’s first time directing a play for Solarium Productions, and his cast’s dedication gives him confidence about the upcoming performance,
he said.

Solarium Productions producer Prasad Rajamani started the company in March 2015 with the intent to create an entirely student-run production company, he said.

Rajamani approached Sexton with the idea, and the two began to reach out to other high school
students to get involved, Sexton said.

“People were eager to join because it is hard to come across an experience like this,” Sexton said.

Rajamani and Sexton said they reached out to the Boys and Girls Clubs of Bloomington to raise money for their first performance.

“We have invested our own money, we received donations from the Boys and Girls Club sponsors and from our families in order to fund this production,”
Sexton said.

All of the profits from the show will go to benefit Boys and Girls Clubs of
Bloomington, he said.

Sexton said directing is a double-edged sword because mistakes fall on his shoulders, but being able to fix those mistakes and pull it off is what he loves most.

“Rehearsal for the performance began in June, but we have been preparing since April,” Sexton said. “We have dealt with a number of problems along the way, but each solution ended up yielding an outcome.”

Nathaniel Kohlmeier, freshman at IU, will play the role of the Cheshire cat. He said Sexton has a great vision and planned everything for the production ahead of time.

“The cast didn’t know each other at first, but because this company is entirely student-run, we have developed a sense of camaraderie,” he said.

Kohlmeier said the experience has been a lot of fun and has allowed him to grow as an actor.

“This really helped me take time with my lines and develop the characteristics needed for my role,” he said. “The best thing about being an actor is the release of your character on stage.”

“Alice in Wonderland” will have three showings, including Friday’s. The next two showings will be at 2 and 7 p.m. Saturday. The show will run for one hour and 45 minutes with one intermission, according to the Buskirk-Chumley website.

Ticket prices are $10 for ages 18 or older and $5 for ages younger than 18.

Tickets can be purchased from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday or noon to 5 p.m. on weekends at the Buskirk-Chumley Box Office, located on 114 E. Kirkwood Ave. Tickets can also be purchased on Buskirk-Chumley website.

Danielle McClelland, executive director of the Buskirk-Chumley, said she expects the audience number to be in the hundreds.

“Ticket sales are going well and continue to increase as we get closer to the weekend,” McClelland said.

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