Published on Thursday, February 2, 2012 by Emma Raleigh
On Feb. 3, 4 and 6, the fine arts department will showcase their production of The Wizard of Oz, with a new twist. Countless hours of rehearsal and preparation have gone into this year’s production, and the audience can look forward to a unique rendition of the show they know and love.
“We’ve never tried to do a musical that everybody knew,” choir director Alex Medlock said. “The last two musicals we’ve done have been relatively unknown, so we wanted to try a really well-known show and put our own spin on it.”
While this musical is different from those of the past, the same amount of hard work has been put into this production, and lessons learned in choir can be directly applied to a show like this.
“What they learn in choir is directly correlated to what we do in the musical,” choir director Robert Urbanek said. “The same thing goes for theatre. They put what they learn into action. It gives the students a chance to work together and pour their heart into something that they all have an interest in.”
As many as 20 hours per week are spent in rehearsal, but the half credit the student receive for the musical has made the time commitment worthwhile.
“It’s hard, but it’s also easier for me,” junior Forrest Herman said. “I don’t get much done with a lot of free time. I like being busy.”
Junior Christine Ehresman also stays busy with musical practice, among other activities.
“I’m involved in tennis, National Honor Society, and choir, so it’s hard,” Ehresman said. “Some hours of sleep can be lost, but it’s worth it.”
Ehresman, one of the two cast as Dorothy, hopes the same for those attending.
“We’re changing some things, so the people who go see it are going to be pretty surprised, but it’s good in a different way,” Ehresman said.
For the performers, the show has just as much a positive impact on them as it will for the audience.
“The musical is just great overall,” Herman said. “It brings the cast together.”
On opening night, the audience can expect to be surprised by the recreated land of Oz.
“We’re hoping our audience will rediscover Oz,” Medlock said.
The show times are 7 P.M. on Friday, Saturday, and Monday with a 2:30 P.M. on Saturday at the Civic Auditorium. Tickets for the show will be sold at $7 for students and $10 for adults in advance, and at $12 the door. Contact any fine arts student for more information, or call 209-2400.