Miami Trace High School is inviting the community to travel to the exotic Land of Oz this weekend as students perform a familiar story with a cast of over 90 kids.
“The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” is a play adaptation of a book of the same name which led to various movies, animated films and other works of art telling the story of a young orphan from Kansas, Dorothy, as she tries to find a way home from Oz. The play will take Dorothy on an amazing adventure where she will learn about both good and bad witches, struggle to find the Wizard of Oz, and make new friends along the way.
“We have two performances (Thursday), one for the elementary students and one for the middle school,” director Laura Hottinger said during rehearsal Wednesday afternoon. “We always do a free performance for them to promote arts in the community. A lot of the students may not have the chance to be exposed to something like that if they don’t get to do it through school. So we do it through the school so they have a chance to see the play.”
Hottinger said that for the first time, the production will be shown to the entire student body of the Miami Trace Elementary School, which she said is populated with around 1,200 kids. Following that performance, the middle school students (around 600 kids) will also watch.
“‘The Wonderful Wizard of Oz’ is a play, not a musical,” Hottinger said. “A lot of people say, ‘Oh I didn’t know,’ but it was actually a book first. Despite it being a popular tale, we had many students who had not seen the musical. So we got it so that the cast could see it before we put on the show.”
The production will be held at the Miami Trace High School auditorium on Friday and Saturday starting at 7:30 p.m. and on Sunday at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $7 for reserved seating and can be obtained by calling into the main office of the Miami Trace High School or by visiting the school before school ends on Friday. Adult tickets at the door are $5 and student and senior tickets are $3.
“Last year we did ‘Clue’ and it’s an older audience play, in that it appeals to adults,” Hottinger said. “So we wanted to do something that would appeal to a younger audience. We have 57 munchkins in our play from pre-school through seventh grade. They will be performing in various roles throughout the play, including munchkins, Emerald City residents and even poppies in the field. That being said, adults will really enjoy this play as well, as they revisit a familiar story.”
Hottinger said the students in the play are very busy. Many of them, on top of their school work, also play in sports including cheerleading, football, swimming, bowling and many others. She stressed the importance of having the community support the play, as these kids took time to make sure they can perform it well for them.
“Students from any of the fall and winter sports are in the play also,” Hottinger said. “It’s important to them to take the time to do something like this. So we would just love for people to come, and watch and support them since they have spent so much time preparing for the production.”
Reach Martin Graham at (740) 313-0351 or on Twitter @MartiTheNewsGuy