The Theatre Council will present “Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz” on Oct. 1 at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. as a fun and family-friendly activity for University Weekend.
Nicole Lippey, a junior theatre major and member of Theatre Council, said she was honored when given the opportunity to direct the children’s show for this year’s University Weekend. As a student director, she wanted to put together a performance for everyone in the family to enjoy.
“Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz” is a retelling of the classic book by L. Frank Baum. In the beloved story, Dorothy Gale, a Kansas farm girl, gets swept up by a tornado and is transported to Oz, the land over the rainbow, where she and her companions must avoid the Wicked Witch of the West and reach the powerful Wizard of Oz in order to find her way home.
Lippey said that her show’s main purpose is to get the viewers involved and moving up and out of their seats. In order to guarantee this happens, the play allows children in the audience to play the part of the munchkins.
“It’s a magical experience,” Lippey said. “It’s totally different, and University Day is a happy day, so people will be bringing kids out and leaving the show very happy. It’s going to be a fun time.” (s.i.c.)
After auditions, Lippey chose her cast, who consists of Megan Hanson as Dorothy, Marissa Breton as Glinda the Good Witch, Eddie Kindler as the Lion, Pat Daley as Scarecrow, Jim Huryk as the Tinman, Kristen Velloza as the Wicked Witch of the West and Matt Cohrs as the Wizard.
David Kalis, secretary of Theatre Council, wrote original music for the play and Natalie Negrotti choreographed the entire show, which features several dancers.
With only three weeks to put the production together, Lippey and her cast spent long hours working to practice their lines and prepare for this event-filled day.
Lippey explained that although money was tight in putting together the show, her imagination was the finishing touch that the production needed. With the help of some of her friends she said she was fortunate enough to have many of the costumes donated to her cast.
Hanson said she believes that there is something for everyone to take away from “Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz.” She mentioned the powerful message that Dorothy learns in her travels: that everything she wanted was right at home.
“It’s a fun family show,” she said. “You may think you need to acquire some quality from something outside of the bubble of your world, but you’ve probably had it all along, you just need to look deep inside you – and there it is.”
Amanda Stewart can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org