Actors are taking audience members on a journey down the yellow brick road during Wellington Secondary School’s production of The Wizard of Oz.
Sophia Halfyard, who stars as Dorothy, said the play is full of surprises.
“It’s different than the movie so come kind of as an empty canvass and be open to what could happen and what doesn’t happen,” said Halfyard, adding that cast members will come into the audience during the show. “They come from where the audience is sitting and that is kind of a surprise and that is really fun.”
Halfyard said becoming Dorothy was a “bit of a challenge” because of Judy Garland’s famous performance, but then she realized she had to make the role her own.
“I have a little dog who I have had since I was four years old so when Toto gets taken away I sort of run off the emotions as if my dog got taken away,” said Halfyard. “It’s really an amazing role and I feel like I can truly express myself.”
Abbie Jepson, who stars as Glinda the Good Witch, was also challenged by her role.
“She is very light and very fluffy and everything is going to be perfect. Don’t you worry. So that part was a little bit of a challenge, especially with the Wicked Witch because as a person I know the Wicked Witch is coming after her (Glinda) and that is going to be a challenge, but as Glinda I have to know that no matter what comes at her she’ll be OK,” said Jepson.
It’s the first year that Wellington and former Woodlands students have come together as one school for a production.
“This is the first production since Woodlands has closed down … and from talking to staff there hasn’t been a big musical theatre production here in over 10 years,” said Peter Spencer, musical theatre teacher, adding there have been smaller productions, but nothing of this magnitude. “These kids have been craving something like this and the energy that they are giving is spectacular. It’s something I think the community should come out and support and just show their support for the love of theatre and love of what is happening with these kids and the experience that they are getting from this. It’s phenomenal.”
The Wizard of Oz runs from June 7-10 at 7 p.m. at Wellington Secondary School’s multipurpose room. Tickets are $12, $10 for students and seniors available at the school office or at the door.