Partner School Highlight: Creative City Puts a Baltimore Twist on a Lewis Carroll Classic with “Tiyonia in Wonderheights”

It’s Alice in Wonderland- Baltimore Style!  Ms. Brown’s third grade class at Creative City got together in their last weeks of the school year to screen their place-based adaptation of Alice in Wonderland in front of friends, family, and their school.  Titled “Tiyona in Wonderheights”, the story follows the main character, Tiyona, who, through her adventures around the Creative City campus, comes across various creatures inspired by Baltimore’s own creature inhabitants including rats, a fox, bees, and a raccoon.  The beautiful costumes were handmade by the students who proudly donned their exquisite masks made from feathers, paper, plates, and fabric.  

“My student’s were so excited to see live theatre- the production was so engaging- when we got back to school, everyone wanted to create their own piece of theatre to share with their classmates!”
– Ms. Brown, 3rd Grade Teacher

This project came about after several students had the opportunity to attend a performance, through Arts Every Day funding, of “Looking Glass Alice” at Baltimore Center Stage in December.  With the help of art teacher, Ms. Bradford, the students were introduced to elements of the play they saw through the integration of literature, drama, and visual art by reading Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, learning about playwriting and creating masks that reflected their visions.  As part of Arts Every Day’s Schools Programs, Creative City students were able to have Center Stage visit the school for a playwright residency that helped students build writing skills while creating the screenplay for their film.  Through the residency, Ms. Brown’s class learned how to establish characters and themes while recognizing and identifying sequences of events and taking those elements and applying them toward art-making in the form of set and costume design.

“The experience of seeing Looking Glass Alice live at Center Stage and having pre and post theatre workshops with Center Stage staff really inspired our students to create their own theatre piece and make the story of Alice their own.”
-Ms. Bradford, Art Teacher

At the end of the school year, everyone was treated to a delightful film where creatures interacted and danced around their school grounds to creatively showcase the characteristics of their city and their personalities.  After the film screening, all guests were invited to a tea party in Ms. Brown’s classroom which had been transformed into a wonderland of its own with an assortment of teas, whimsical decorations, and the students’ masks hung on display.

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