KCI junior drama club using cool technology, expanded cast and live orchestra to stage The Wonderful

            With a large, expanded cast, behind-the-scenes workers and a live band in the orchestra pit, a large number of the junior students at the Kamsack Comprehensive Institute are involved in the staging of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.

            In two acts, the play, by Michele L. Vacca, tells the classic L. Frank Baum tale, Bethany Brade, the director, said last week, explaining that the version being staged uses an expanded cast totaling 30 students, and includes a secretary for Oz, apprentices for the witches, and extra lines for all the Munchkins, gatekeepers and sidekicks for the witches.

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            There will be 30 students on stage, another 10 or so doing the behind-the-scenes jobs plus about 24 musicians in the orchestra pit under the direction of Darren Kitsch, providing the music for the production, Brade said.

            The public is being invited to attend the production on April 5 and 7. A special showing for students will be staged on Monday.

            Brade has been working with Joanne Schwartz, the co-director, since shortly after Christmas, meeting for rehearsals for two hours each Wednesday and Friday, and then recently also for about six hours on Saturdays.

            “We have incredible costumes, both made especially for the play and donated,” she said. “The witch’s costume is amazing and we’re using full stage face paint in the makeup department.

“We’ll have an eight-foot tree on stage.

“We’ll be using cool technology, including a shadow screen with rear projection.”

            Included in the show will be projected video from the original musical, she said. “We’re getting it all together.”

            The students are totally committed, she said.

            “They’re learning what commitment is and all about staying committed,” Schwartz added. The experience is helping to build relationships.

            Members of the cast are as follows:

            Leah Schwartz, Dorothy; Ilyana Carpenter-Bloudoff, Miz Switch and The Wizard; Zach Burback, Uncle Henry, Guard and Mayor Munchkin; Kira Kitsch, Aunt Em, Munchikin and Gatekeeper; Eric Moriarty, Mr. Crowe, Gatekeeper and Munchkin; Josh Hilton, Mr. Woodman, Munchkin and Secretary, and Brady Hilton, Mr. Lyon and Munchkin.

            Petrie Whitehawk, Glinda the Good; Seraphim Strauss, the Wicked Witch of the West; Jordyn Thomas, the Scarcrow; Makayla Romaniuk, the Tin Man, and Talon Severight, the Lion.

            Other Munchkins are being portrayed by Sienna Koroluk, Assistant and Munchkin; Tynika Strongeagle, Secretary, Munchkin and Witch; Teanna Raffard, Secretary and Munchkin; Curtis Berezowski, Guard and Munchkin.

And portraying both witches and Munchkins, are: Megan Raffard, Tara Taylor, Boston Guillet, Gerri-Leigh Basaraba, Samantha Strongeagle and Cadence Campeau.

            On the stage crew are: Aiden Stone, Tyler Filipchuk, Shaelyn Davis, Mila Carpenter-Bloudoff, Rylee Zbeetnoff, Karen Luu, Will Zarchikoff, Jersey Badger, Anna Schwartz, Chloe Koroluk and Sadie McGriskin.

A clever, entertaining and fast-paced dramatization, the play is based upon the timeless and exciting classic adventure story of young Dorothy who finds herself lost in the strange and magical Land of Oz, says an Internet account of the play. The expanded version has many principal speaking roles and offers a number of options to include additional performers in non-speaking roles.

In the story, young Dorothy Gale finds herself whisked away to the magical Land of Oz by a Kansas cyclone. How will she ever find her way home? Wearing the magic ruby slippers, and under the kindly protection of the Good Witch of the North, Dorothy sets out to ask the Wonderful Wizard for advice, said the account. On the way, she finds both adventure and friends; the Cowardly Lion who thinks he needs courage, the Scarecrow who thinks he needs brains, and the sentimental Tin Woodsman who desperately yearns for a warm heart.

During her journey Dorothy also encounters a few obstacles, one of which is the dreaded Wicked Witch of the West! The plot thickens when Dorothy and her three friends agree to help the Wizard foil the Wicked Witch of the West in exchange for brains, courage, a new heart, and a trip home to Kansas.

“After another long journey and further adventures Dorothy and her friends boldly and bravely succeed in their mission by drawing upon their own resources. In doing so they triumphantly find the courage, the brains, the heart and the home for which they have been searching.”