“The audience should expect a high energy show that pays homage to the classic movie while also adding some originality to the story,” said Bob Hunt, director of the play.
Hunt said he chose “Wizard of Oz” for this spring’s production for a few reasons.
“First, in looking at the talent that we have this year, the play seemed like a perfect fit that would provide many opportunities to students,” Hunt said. “Secondly, I like directing shows that families can attend together.”
He added that he also enjoys “how the play communicates that there might be a more magical world just below the surface of ours if we have the imagination to see it.”
Emily LaPlante stars as Dorothy, Sean Myers as the Cowardly Lion/Zeke, Loy Andrus as the Tin Man/Hickory and Adam Christiansen as the Scarecrow/Hunk. Mitch Sleep stars as Uncle Henry and Sarah Wurzel as Auntie Em/Glinda the Good Witch. Starring as the Wicked Witch/Miss Gultch is Anya Tracy.
Trevor Warren performs as the Wizard of Oz/Professor Marvel.
Maddi Van Epps is assistant director of the play. Cindy Payler is the choreographer, John Miller is the vocal director, and Robert Rumbolz is the sound technician.
Appearing as the citizens of Munchkinland include Emma Hanlin as mayor; Brandi Voss as coroner; Savannah Harker as barrister; Christian Strickland as braggart; Brooke Thomas, Eliana Karhu, Rachel Kimble as city fathers; Romney and Linda Andreasen as lullaby girls; Aidan Hunt, Joseph Schneider, Colton Johannsen as the guild; and Julie Fox and Emma Andreasen as school teachers.
Performing the three-part harmony (crows, trees, Ozians and chorus) are Rachel Kimble, Cicily Bennion, Kimberly Moore, Connie Moore and Lacey Eckerdt.
Ozians include Olivia Slater, Lauren Hopkins and Claire Feathers as beauticians; Miles Rumbolz, Josiah Hogan and Connor Hunt as polishers; Tellesse Whitaker, Marina Pomeroy, Rachel Wurzel and Brandi Seeley as manicurists; Ezra Andreason and Cody Johannsen as Oz men; and Rachael Bright and Harlei Leichner as Oz women.
Performing as Minions (also chorus for Ozians and Munchkins) include Cage Johannsen, Cody Johannsen, Brandi Seeley, Desiree Murray, Jourdyn Haire, Chelsea Bates and Zoey Lentz as Winkies; Cody Johannsen as Winkie General; Michaela Kousoulos as Nikko; and Cage Johannsen, Cody Johannsen, Brandi Seeley, Madison Morrow and Michaela Kousoulos as flying monkeys.
The overall stage manager for the production is Caitlyn Johnson, and Heather Hensman and Samantha Melton also are working as stage managers and help with props. Technical assistance is provided by Samantha Melton, Mikala Starcevich, Natalie Quillen, Jessie Neidhardt, Heather Hensman, Zoey Lentz and Chelsea Bates.
Hunt commended the students for their hard work.
“My favorite thing about directing is always seeing the growth in students from the beginning to the end of the production; with this production, the growth is very obvious,” he said. “All of the actors and technicians should feel a tremendous sense of accomplishment.”
The play features music and lyrics of the MGM motion picture score by Harold Arlen and E.Y. Harburg and background music by Herbert Stothart. The play is based on the book adaption by John Kane from the motion picture screenplay.
Tickets are $4 for students and $6 general admission. Tickets will be available at the door or at the Powell High School office.