The Wizard of Oz Sparkles

Midlothian Theatre Department Presents: The Wizard of Oz

Photo by: Megan Cizek & Jonathan Shelley
Midlothian’s Theatre Department performed the Wizard of Oz to a packed house on November 15-17, 2018.

The Midlothian community flocked to see Midlothian’s Theatre Department perform the Wizard of Oz on November 15, 16, and 17.  The fine Midlothian High orchestra, directed by Mr. Taylor Fletcher, and crew behind stage helped bring the production to life. Mrs. Katherine Baugher and senior Peyton Strange directed the actors, and Mr. Jamie Nicholas helped students build the magical set. 

Dorothy (Sophia Nadder) opens the show by running down the aisle, out of breath, and calling for Toto. In a creative twist, freshman Alexis Muse puppeteered a life-like Toto, allowing it to scamper around,  adding whimsy. After escaping from Ms. Almira Gulch (Rachel Bybee), Dorothy runs to her family, including Uncle Henry (Brent Novey) and Auntie Em (Caitlin Wright), who criticize her for worrying too much. Dorothy sings the heartwarming Somewhere Over the Rainbow, wishing for a better life.

When a tornado hits Kansas, Dorothy is separated from her family and knocked unconscious. Suddenly, the closed curtains open, revealing a detailed set, designed by Emile Judson, which includes a projector screen and a revolving yellow brick road. Munchkin City is set up with varying shades of blue umbrellas, where Glinda, the Good Witch of the North (Brooke Ward) welcomes Dorothy and invites the munchkins out from behind the umbrellas. Charming children of Midlothian staff members dressed in blue for the song Ding Dong the Witch is Dead, only to be interrupted by a warning from the Wicked Witch of the West (Rachel Bybee).

Glinda informs Dorothy of the Wizard of Oz, a mysterious man who can take her back to Kansas. After a memorable Follow the Yellow Brick Road, Dorothy begins her journey. She runs into Scarecrow (Yosef Collins), who sings If I Only Had a Brain, and optimistically joins Dorothy on her quest to meet the Wizard. On their way, they meet the Tinman (Hunter Pearson) who had rusted solid. After freeing him, he explains how he ended up that way, singing If I Only Had a Heart.

When the group of unlikely friends move on into the wild forest, they encounter the cowardly Lion (Cohen Steele), who sings If I Only Had the Nerve. When they see the Emerald City, where the Wizard of Oz lives, they run into a poppy field, cursed by the Wicked Witch. Tinman rusts solid, and Dorothy, Toto, and Lion fall into a deep slumber, but Glinda is there to save them by countering the witch’s spell with snow that wakes them up. Act One ends with the group hopefully looking to the Emerald City and singing for their future.

When the friends reach the Emerald City, the Guard (Britton Baltich) lets them in and sings with the ensemble Merry Old Land of Oz. As they wait to see the great Oz, Lion commands the stage with If I Were King of the Forest. At last, their long journey becomes worth it when they meet the Wizard of Oz (Jake Feldpausch), who exclaims he will only grant their requests if they bring the Wicked Witch’s broomstick.

The furious Wicked Witch angrily sets out to terrorize the gang by sending jitterbugs, vicious bugs that make them dance ’til they drop with exhaustion. The tap dance number Jitterbug exhausts the friends, making them vulnerable to the Witch’s monkeys, who kidnap Dorothy and Toto. The Wicked Witch terrorizes them and sets a timer to Dorothy’s death. The Scarecrow, Tinman, and Lion group together to break into the Witch’s castle. Upon finding her, they encounter the Witch. Just when she’s about to set Scarecrow on fire, Dorothy saves Scarecrow by soaking the Wicked Witch, causing her to melt.

Upon taking the Witch’s broom, they race back to Oz, who is unveiled to be a regular man. Despite him being ordinary, he gives the Scarecrow his brain, the Tinman his heart, and the Lion his courage, though it is revealed that they possessed these things all along. Dorothy cries over the fact that she will never be able to go home, but Glinda appears to tell her she had the power all along to return to Kansas. After clicking her heels twice, she and Toto return to Kansas, where they happily reunite with friends and family.

The Wizard of Oz proved a successful show that will remain in the hearts of many, including Senior Hunter Pearson, who reflected how “the show has been an amazing opportunity, and I’m going to miss everyone in [it]. Amazing opportunities lie over the rainbow.” 

Midlothian High’s reputation for outstanding theater continues with this delightful production. Immediately following the close of The Wizard of Oz, auditions will begin for The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time, which airs February 7-9, 2018. The legend continues…