Summit Middle School presents Ozma of Oz |

Summit Middle School presents Ozma of Oz

Summit Daily/Brad Odekirk Ozma, left, played by Chloe King gets ready to free Dorothy, played by Samantha Gardner, in Summit Middle School's production of Ozma of Oz.

SUMMIT COUNTY – Summit Middle School students will take their audiences on a magical coming-of-age journey this weekend during their production of Ozma of Oz.A magenta-clad witch, a rainbow-stockinged Dorothy and a feathery, orange chicken named Bill transform the SMS stage into the beaches of Oz, as Dorothy and Uncle Henry weather a shipwreck en route to Australia.

“It has a lot of imagination and creativity to it,” said 12-year-old Kody Berkley, who plays Uncle Henry. “It’s probably something people haven’t seen before. The costumes of some of the people in Oz are really outrageous. We have moving rocks and vines that come alive.”Kody’s Uncle Henry is the most challenging role of his acting career thus far.”He’s a stubborn guy who doesn’t take orders from anybody and does whatever he wants. It takes him to some bad places, like the Desert of Shifting Sand and Langwidere’s Palace,” Kody said.

Eighth-grade stage veteran Chloe King floats in front of her audience as Ozma, her Day-Glo pink spiral curls spilling out from under a witch’s hat.”I was the Cheshire Cat last year in Alice in Wonderland, and I used part of that character in this one,” Chloe said. “I’m a controlling person that yells at people a lot, but sometimes I can be very nice.”

From an educational perspective, seventh-grade language arts teacher Jessica Banner has seen the student actors make great strides through their work on the play.”Kids that might not like the classroom setting so much are really flourishing,” Banner said. “And it’s been really cool to see them evolve as a cast. Kids who have never met each other before have become friends, helping each other with lines and having fun.”For the play’s star, Samantha Gardner, who plays Dorothy, the Friday and Saturday performances will be the culmination of hundreds of hours of elbow grease.

“I’ve missed a lot of gymnastics, but it’s worth it,” Samantha said. “Everybody’s put in a lot of work.”Julie Sutor can be reached at (970) 668-3998 ext. 203 or

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