It’s a wonderland with a twist! In celebration of the 150th anniversary Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Green-Wood Cemetery will play host to a month-long nighttime festival, “Dark Wonderland.”
Every Thursday, Friday and Saturday evening in June, the Green-Wood Historic Fund and MAPP International Productions will present a variety of artists, ranging from dancing to singing to performance art, all interpreting the theme of “Dark Wonderland.”
“It will be magical. It’s a really beautiful landscape. It’s gorgeous, surprising and it’s really dramatic,” said Chelsea Dowell, manager of programs and membership at Green-Wood. “Putting on performances in the middle of the landscape really adds something to the art you’re watching. It’s a unique experience that you don’t get in theaters.”
Dowell is happy to collaborate with MAPP, a non-profit profit producer of major performance artists and projects that raise consciousness and sparks social change. “We are really fortunate to work with MAPP,” she said. “They put on fabulous art installations all over the world. They found these incredibly gifted creators to come to Green-Wood.”
As opening night nears, the talent has visited their future stage for inspiration. “There has been a lot of rehearsing. Everyone has been connecting with the space and really thinking about Green-Wood’s history and how monumental it is,” Dowell said.
Each week, audiences can expect vastly different performances. “It’s pretty varied. We have everything, which is by design,” she said. “One thing that’s really cool about this event is that it changes every week. Week one will be different from week three. We keep it really fresh.”
Another highlight during the performances is that audiences will be able to explore the space before each show. “There will be a tour that happens before each performance,” explained Dowell. “People will learn about the history and get feel for the space before the show.”
Executive Director of MAPP Brian Tate is excited to see the show come to fruition. “It was my idea with a lot of feedback. It certainly came from a lot of thinking from different places and people,” he said. “It started when folks at Green-Wood asked if I had any ideas for a way to develop something for their spring theatrical.”
Once he saw the space, he was immediately impressed. “I love it. As soon as I saw it, I was blown away and enamored,” Tate said. “Green-Wood is such a naturally theatrical backdrop for arts and culture experience and for history.”
He has also noticed the excitement the project has generated. “I’ve been getting such incredible response when I tell people about this,” said Tate. “Every performance is a knockout. I think from the moment you come in that threshold, it will be an experience like no other.”
“Dark Wonderland” begins on Thursday, June 4 and concludes on Saturday, June 27. Each performance begins at 7:30 p.m. During week one, Vanitas will perform. Week two will feature electronic pop band SLV. Samita Sinha and musician and composer Graham Haynes will headline week three. The festival will cap off with improvisational band Burnt Sugar: The Arkestra Chamber.
Tickets for each performance costs $25, with special discounts offered for repeat purchases. For a full list of artists performing and to purchase tickets, visit www.green-wood.com/darkwonderland. To find out more about MAPP, visit www.mappinternational.org.