Bicycles + Alice in Wonderland = a wild ride

04/23/2013 1:33 PM

04/23/2013 1:34 PM

Stephany Torres is getting ready for her next performance with the Front Yard Theatre Collective by decorating her lavender-colored bicycle with purple electrical tape and making it look like the Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland .

“Theater needs more exposure in Miami, and a theater on bike is the way to promote it,” she said.

Torres is one of the organizers that will present Alice in Wynwoodland, a 101/2mile bicycle ride that will depart at 6 p.m. on April 27 from the Adrienne Arsht Center Metromover station in downtown Miami.

Those who attend will join the cast of the Front Yard Theatre Collective on a two-hour ride that will stop at four different locations, where this group of local actors who play once a month at The Garret at Grand Central will perform a scene from Lewis Carroll’s novel Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland .

“The audience will be introduced to Alice at the former Omni Metromover station,” said Torres, 25, of Downtown Miami. “Alice will be with them the whole bike ride as they follow her on her quest.”

The characters will be introduced as the story unravels at the four different stops.

Each scene will be about 5 to 10 minutes long.

The final stop will be followed by an after-party at The Garret at Grand Central on 697 N. Miami Ave., where there will be a screening of the Disney classic film Alice in Wonderland.

“The purpose of the event is to do something fun and different in Miami that will help spread theatre and bicycle culture,” said Torres, manager and publicist for the Front Yard Theatre Collective.

The idea began about two years ago, when organizer and director Gabriela Fernandez thought of ways to combine local theatre with the bicycle scene.

About a month and a half ago, the Front Yard Theatre Collective began coordinating the event with Emerge Miami, a social network established in 2005 by a group of locals that collaborate with the planning of different events in the community, including bicycle and theatre related.

“We wanted to work with Emerge Miami because they have the experience necessary to plan a route, make a map and take care of safety issues,” said Fernandez, 27.

One of the organizers at Emerge Miami, Adam Schachner, is happy to be collaborating with the logistics, planning and prop-making of the event.

“I grew up riding my bike, and I never heard of something like this happening,” said Schachner, 33, a high school literature teacher. “It’s an amazing combination of two growing cultures in Miami.”

Shenandoah resident Errol Portman, the head script-writer of Alice in Wynwoodland, said the event is “one of its kind.”

“We wanted to tell a story that was well known but had room for us to adapt it to Miami,” he said. “Let’s face it, the only place you’re going to find crazier characters than Miami is Wonderland.”

Portman, an assistant state attorney who has formed part of the Front Yard Theatre Collective for almost three years now, said the scenes and characters are very Miami specific.

For instance, Tweedledum and Tweedledee are street artists, the Mad Hatter is a party promoter, and Alice, from Kendall, meets the Cheshire Cat, from Wynwood.

“The only reason not to go, quite frankly, is if you are allergic to fun,” the 46-year-old said.

The event is free for all ages.

Cyclists are encouraged to wear Alice in Wonderland costumes and prizes will be awarded to the best-dressed characters.

“I only hope this event creates a buzz,” said Fernandez, who expects about 200 people to join the event. “I hope it motivates people to ride their bikes and that young people fall in love with theatre.”

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