University Park, IL,
09:40 AM

Re-imagined Alice in Wonderland at GSU

A New Lens Mirrors Modern Social Movements at GSU’s Center for Performing Arts

Contact: Sharon Morrissey

Governors State University

Phone: (708) 235-2812


For Immediate Release


University Park, IL, October 15, 2018 – Within the vast cornfields of Chicago’s south suburbs, the portal to another world is opening. Governors State University's Center for Performing Arts invites you to plunge down the rabbit hole this fall to witness the eccentric Alice in Wonderland through a new lens. Three performances on November 1 to 3  at 8 p.m. feature five representations of Alice in this experiential theatre production, directed by Patrick Santoro, an associate professor in GSU's College of Arts and Sciences

The well-renowned stories of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland and its sequel, Through the Looking-Glass, receive a twist in their narrative, unveiling Carroll’s real-life infatuation with underage girls. Both novels will be divided into a unique set of fourteen episodes directed by Santoro.

Santoro’s portrayal of Alice In Wonderland is told from a mature perspective that contrasts the child-like themes of Disney’s popular renditions. The performance will dissect social issues in a critical manner, such as the sexual abuse of children.

In an ironic fashion, Santoro flips the ill-suspected author’s narrative into a tale of empowerment for sexual abuse victims by disrupting the power that abusers have over their victims. In the light of recent social justice movements, such as the “Me Too” movement, Santoro’s presentation highlights this important issue. Guardians and patrons are asked to make an informed decision about bringing children, considering the mature subject matter explored.

“Our mission in this public square is social justice,’’ Santoro states. “Alice is coming at a time when we are naming silences left unspoken. We are looking at how performance can be transformative. How does performance change us—individually as well as socially, politically, and culturally?”

The subject matter is particularly important to Dr. Santoro, who has survived his own unfortunate altercation with sexual abuse as a child. Santoro explains the therapeutic process of utilizing art to cope with his past abuse, saying “Part of my journey is making my sexual abuse public, and owning it, so I can move beyond where I was, that space of shame, and inspire others to do the same.”

Help the students raise awareness of sexual harassment and assault by joining this adventure. To sustain the intimacy of the event’s theme, GSU is using on-stage seating, so seating is limited. Tickets are now available for $15, so make sure to reserve a spot before the rabbit hole closes. To purchase tickets or receive additional information, please visit, or call 708. 235. 2222.

Other Upcoming Events for Theatre Fans:

Jesus Christ Superstar, presented by Southland Area Theatre Ensemble

The world-famous rock opera depicting the story of Jesus Christ and his final seven days.

Show Dates: January 25 and 26  at 8 p.m. and January 27 at 2 p.m.

Ticket Price: $28

Almost, Maine

On a cold winter night, a mythical town experiences the cyclical highs and lows of love.

Show Dates: March 8 and 9 at 8 p.m. and March 10 at

Ticket Price: $15

HOPERA: A Fallen Hero

This uplifting tale exposes the obstacles that many inner-city youth face, through a dynamic combination of hip-hop, opera, dance and dramatic theatre.

Show Date: April 6 at 8p.m.

Ticket Price: $28

About Center for Performing Arts

Center for Performing Arts thanks our other generous partners, funders and individual contributors including the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency. Located at Governors State University, Center for Performing arts provides dynamic entertainment and edutainment experiences for all, serving over 50,000 patrons annually. Like us on Facebook @centeratgsu for updates on events, offers and more. Share your experience at the Center on Instagram #govstatearts.