Fort Collins Theatre Avoids Cancellation with Pivot from Stage to Screen

La-De-Da Performing Arts Avoids Production Cancellation with Pivot from Stage to Screen

In March, April and May, Colorado’s Stay-At-Home mandate forced many theatre companies to cancel their stage performances. This was not the case for La-De-Da’s production of Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll, a new adaptation by Nick Turner. In a few short weeks, the company quickly pivoted the stage production, originally intended for opening at the Fort Collins Museum of Discovery in May, into a film production safely rehearsed, filmed, and edited from 39 different homes. La-De-Da engaged a professional team including a screen acting coach, costumers, and film editors to help convert the play into a “quarantine-style” movie. Actors met 6 hours a week via Zoom in April and May to rehearse and prepare “self-tapes” recorded with cell phones as cameras, table lamps for lighting, and family members as film crew. Thirty-five out of thirty-nine of the original cast and crew remained involved despite the unconventional approach and the overall challenging circumstances of the coronavirus outbreak. Brynn Leary, 13, who plays Alice reflects, “Alice in Wonderland was a creative and fun way to stay involved in the theatre community during these difficult times” and her mom, Frances Leary, who plays the Duchess adds, “I’m so proud to work with talented professionals who can keep theatre relevant even when we cannot rehearse and perform face-to-face.”

The end result is a completely unique film version of the play releasing June 26-28, 2020. Co-Director Dulcie Willis notes: “I’m really impressed by our final product, despite the low-tech use of cell phones and table lamps. We are so grateful to our cast and their families for staying the course under extraordinary circumstances and seeing this to the end. I think our audiences will be impressed and will love this show!” More details:

In response to the success of Alice in Wonderland, La-De-Da is expanding online summer courses in film and improv, continuing efforts to make performing arts education safely accessible during uncertain times. La-De-Da’s film acting instructor Mary Beth Eversole and New Trash Media’s Jesse Nyander are co-teaching “Let’s Shoot A Short Film” a digital film training experience similar to Alice in Wonderland with a more high-tech approach. Each student in the class receives lighting, sound, and studio equipment for self-taping. The class teaches skills needed to professionally self-tape and at the end of the week-long intensive, all self-tapes are combined into a short film and submitted to film festivals.

Registration is open for the film intensive ”Let’s Shoot a Short Film” workshops for adults and teens running June 22nd-26th. More information:


Press Release: La-De-Da Performing Arts Avoids Production Cancellation with Pivot from Stage to Screen
Photo 1: Elena Phillips (right,14) and her mom Robin (left) prepare to shoot a scene in their home studio
Photo 2: Cheshire Cat Closeup:  Zena Owens performs on screen as the Cheshire Cat in La-De-Da’s Alice in Wonderland.
Video: “Let’s Shoot a Short Film” promo

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