‘Wizard of Oz’ plays at middle school | SummitDaily.com

‘Wizard of Oz’ plays at middle school

summit daily news

Middle school students aren’t just learning how to act with their production of “The Wizard of Oz.” They’re also getting a chance to embody positive characters.

Kelly Burns plays Dorothy – a character she admires – in the classic play, which depicts Dorothy as an intelligent young lady of our times.

“I love how strong-willed and loving Dorothy is,” Burns said. “She will let nothing stop her from getting back to Kansas and helping her friends.”

The classic story’s adaptation, by Anne Coulter Martens, simplifies the stage production and plot, which lends itself well to middle schoolers.

“The production illustrates the bonding, friendship and character development between the leading characters: Tristan McDonald, Danny Daigle, Dale Lockard and Kelly Burns,” said Janet McDermott, director of the play and eighth-grade Language Arts teacher.

Lockard has been having a good time learning to play the lion.

“The part I like most about the lion is just the fact that he denies that he has courage, even though he does,” Lockhard said. “Just the fact of it entertains me.”

The kids have been staying after school, rehearsing for the show since November.

“Their love of theater is the key motivation,” McDermott said.

The show includes four scenes with various lighting and scenery changes. The first scene begins with a collage of Emerald City, Dorothy’s Kansas house, the Munchkins and the Yellow Brick Road. Scene two portrays the Throne Room and Guard Towers. In act two, Belinda the witch stands out in her kitchen. Both this year’s and last year’s eighth graders designed and painted the sets, with help from some seventh graders.

“I think that the audience will like how colorful the sets are and the talent of the actors,” McDermott said. “Team work is also a major factor in the production.

“‘The Wizard of Oz’ is an entertaining and creative production that creates the time-honored miracle environment. It is truly a wonderful collage of animal and human characters.”

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