Minnetonka High School student Anja Arora ‘27 will be playing the titular role of Alice in Children's Theatre Company's (CTC) upcoming production of Alice in Wonderland. At just 15 years old, Arora has already landed roles in numerous CTC productions, in addition to several other local theater companies and MHS’s own Minnetonka Theatre.
“Learning that I was going to play the title role was like a dream come true,” she expressed. “I grew up watching the company actors at CTC, and to be playing the title role in one of their shows, especially the role of Alice, is an amazing thing!”
Arora has felt especially enchanted by CTC’s interpretation of the classic fairytale. “It stays so true to Lewis Carroll’s vision of the ups and downs of Wonderland and all it entails, but it also manifests itself as a unique and fresh take of this classic show—one that is thoroughly alive and magical!”
Similarly, the rehearsal process for Alice in Wonderland has been new and distinct for Arora in many ways. The cast incorporates various skills and stunts in their practice that she is not accustomed to observing, from puppetry to choreographed fight scenes.
Nevertheless, she draws on many years of experience acting in plays to refine her own performance. Her very first role was in fourth grade, as Lumiere in Minnetonka Theatre’s Beauty and the Beast. Since then, she has acted in six other Minnetonka Theatre productions and countless local shows. The process has involved honing her musical and performance skills in several areas.
“I always knew I loved acting, singing, and dancing…I recently started taking formal voice lessons which I really enjoy! I’ve taken dance lessons and workshops here and there throughout the years, and I am so lucky to have learned dance from the amazing Jennifer Crist who choreographs with Minnetonka Theatre,” she shared.
While Arora has reached new heights with her leading role as Alice, her journey in musical theater has only just begun. “I will definitely be continuing to pursue theater in the near future because I really do have a passion for it. Whatever happens after high school will happen, whether or not it’s theater or something else! I believe it’s super important to keep your options open and to do what you love,” she said.
She offered a few words of advice to other students interested in pursuing theater. “I would tell other students interested in pursuing theater to never, ever give up if it’s something you truly love. I can say from experience that for every great opportunity, there are a thousand missed opportunities. The important thing is to keep trying and to enjoy every opportunity you get.”
CTC’s Alice in Wonderland will be running from February 13 through March 31, 2024. Details are available on the Children’s Theatre Company website.
Photo courtesy of Children's Theatre Company, Glen Stubbe Photography.