Off to see the Wizard
I-S students present musical
By Holly Neumann
The timeless American fairy tale about a girl who leaves Kansas in a whirlwind and travels over the rainbow to Oz is coming to Iola.
The Iola-Scandinavia music department will present “The Wizard of Oz” at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, April 21-22, and 2 p.m. Sunday, April 23, in the high school auditorium.
“In the beginning, Ms. Gultch is mad at Dorothy and her dog Toto, because Toto got into her garden and tried to bite her cat,” said Danielle Ambrosius. “So when Dorothy gets into the tornado, she imagines Ms. Gultch as the Wicked Witch, who is after her because she wants the ruby slippers she is wearing.”
Ambrosius, who plays the roles of Ms. Gultch and the Wicked Witch, has had fun preparing for the musical.
“I love entertaining. I love getting into my character and seeing everyone smile and laugh,” she said. “We have had a lot of fun with this, this far.”
Clare Taylor and Keygan Singh agree.
“I had wanted to role of the Cowardly Lion, but I got the role of the Scarecrow,” Singh said. “I feel like the role fits me well. It reminds me of myself. A little clumsy, not very quick to the thought. I am having so much fun.”
Taylor, who plays Dorothy, is one of the veterans to Iola-Scandinavia musicals.
“I have been in every production for the past four years,” she said. “I love the final product. When everyone is in costume, in character and steps out on stage that first time. It feels so good, like we have really accomplished something.”
She admits that it is not always easy.
“A lot of time and effort goes into this,” she said. “The songs are easy to learn, but the lines, that’s another story.”
Her hope is that the audience stays in suspended reality.
“I want to give everyone the best performance that we can and I want everyone to truly enjoy the show,” she said. “I want them to feel like they are really in Kansas and the Land of Oz.”
The production includes a cast of 24 high school students in addition to 16 elementary students playing the munchkins.
Directing the musical is Chelsea Liesch and Linda Trepasso, with Jacob Martin as pit director and Kira Morrissey as vocal coach for lead roles.
Tickets are $7 each and are available in the high school commons from 3:30-4:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Thursdays or by emailing [email protected]
The performance date and number of tickets should be included in the email along with any requests for seating preference. Requests will honored based on availability. Email orders may be picked up and paid for during Tuesday and Thursday ticket sale hours or at time of performance.
A Wizard of Oz character brunch will also take place from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday, April 23. Cost is $5.