By Chase Rheam
STILLWATER, Okla. —
Stillwater High School invites residents to take a stroll down the yellow brick road as students perform “The Wizard of Oz” Thursday through Sunday at the Stillwater Performing Arts Center. Shows start at 7:30 p.m. with the last show at 2:30 p.m. Sunday.
Director Lisa Larios said the program is a joint effort.
“It’s really a collaboration of the Chorale students, the orchestra and the drama students,” Larios said.
In addition, 11 students from first- through fifth-grade will play munchkins. There are around 50 students in the production.
Larios said tryouts were held in late February.
“We did auditions then and that amounted to them having to do a song and they had to dance and do a reading,” Larios said.
The orchestra includes band students and will be conducted by Kevin Zamborsky. Steve Maison is the vocal director.
“We have a lot of talented students,” Larios said.
Among the cast of students, Rachel Peek will play Dorothy, Alexandria Poulos will play Aunt Em and Glinda, Logan Sirbaugh will play Zeke and the Cowardly Lion, Dillon Bertholf will play Hickory and the Tin Man, Hunter Akin will play Hunk and the Scarecrow and Lydia McBee Reed will play Ms. Gultch and the Wicked Witch.
Larios said some cast members are playing four or five parts.
“This is probably one of the largest casts we’ve ever had,” Larios said.
Among the notable songs to be performed, another song that was cut from the film, titled “The Jitterbug,” will be a part of the play.
“It’s challenging in the sense that they dance but they also have to sing and harmonize in that one,” Larios said.
She said she could understand why the difficult number was cut from the film.
Helping to bring the production together is a technical crew of nearly 30 students under Technical Director Michelle Hendrix.
“There are quite a few sets, too, and costuming has been crazy,” Larios said.
Larios said one challenging part has been pyrotechnics for characters such as the Wicked Witch.
“We just can’t do those things like they do in the movie because of the way our building is made and the (fire) codes,” Larios said. “So, we’ve had to find interesting, creative ways to do that and still have that effect.”
Larios said rehearsals and read-throughs have been going well, but have also been hectic due to so many aspects. However, she believes the show will be a hit.
“So far, I’ve had four large musicals that I’ve directed and I think this is, by far, one that everyone will remember,” Larios said.
Tickets are $7. If adults bring a flyer from Stillwater elementary schools, they can get in free with the purchase of a child’s admission.