“The Wizard of Oz” will open at 7 p.m. Friday, July 27, at the Waupaca High School Performing Arts Center, E2325 King Road.
Staged by the Waupaca Community Theatre, the Broadway musical is also scheduled for 7 p.m. Saturday, July 28, and 7 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, Aug. 2-4, with a matinee at 2 p.m. Sunday, July 29.
“Much of what you will see on the stage will be exactly like what you saw in the movie,” according to Holly Saunders, who is directing “The Wizard of Oz.” “However, there are several scenes that did not make it into the movie or ended up on the cutting room floor. I think some of them will steal the show.”
She expects the audience to enjoy the cyclone scene which includes a dance.
Saunders said she considers the Oz story to be a family favorite that teaches valuable lessons about life.
“It has been a 10-year dream of mine to do a project that combined a large cast of children with a large cast of adults,” she said.
The cast includes two women performing the role of Dorothy.
Jessica Fletcher plays Dorothy on July 28 and Aug. 3 and 4.
Emma Kelley is Dorothy on July 27, July 29 and Aug. 2.
There are also two Aunt Ems. Filling that role are Tammi Kenton, who takes the stage the same dates as Fletcher, and Carmen Riebel who shares the same dates as Kelley.
When asked about the dual casting for Dorothy, Saunders replied, “I just could not decide between these two talented young ladies, both of whom I’ve known since they were in third grade. Carmen and Tammi are also both talented actors and singers.”
The cast also includes Jim King as Uncle Henry, Lee Schultz as the Wicked Witch of the West, Marcel Van Camp as the Wizard, Luke Harger as the Scarecrow, Bob Telfer as the Tin Man, Gene Badgley as the Lion and David Larson as the Emerald City Guard.
Larson and Schultz also worked on the set design and props. They describe their scenery as “green,” not because it’s the color of the Emerald City but because they recycled much of the materials from other shows.
They found used props from productions in other cities. The “W” logo on one of the sets comes from a regional production of “Wicked.” The trees in the Magic Forest come from LaCrosse, and the Wicked Witch’s castle is a refurbished and scary version of the Von Trapp castle that was used in a production of “The Sound of Music.”
“Some of the platforms we’re using on stage have been around since 1989,” Larson said.
One of the stage elements still in production is the balloon that the audience will see carry the Wizard up into the air.
Tickets cost $12 for adults and $8 for children 12 years and younger. Tickets are general admission seating and are available at the door and at the Waupaca Area Chamber of Commerce.
For more information, go to www.fineartsfestival.org.