The Wizard of Oz began as a children’s novel written by L. Frank Baum in 1900 but has since transcended time, expanding into a world famous musical, telling the classic story of a young girl dreaming of a world called Oz. This year, WCI takes on this classic tale in the hopes of further developing its extracurricular drama community.
I met with Sarah M., a fifth year student who has been involved in WCI drama productions since grade 9, moving from her first role as a rock all the way to an influential lead as Lady Macbeth in last year’s Shakespeare production. “No role is more important than another and everyone understands that … there is no hierarchy,” she said, speaking of the community developed by WCI drama productions, “Everyone needs to believe that everyone is the most important and that is very much encouraged by the staff. It’s given me a place where I feel completely okay to be myself.”
This culture of acceptance and support has been crucial to the development of a final polished product, leading to successful shows in previous years. This year, Sarah M. will be stepping down from a role in the spotlight to help Ms. Urquhart as the assistant director of the show.
Natasha F., a grade 11 student, will be taking on the role of Dorothy this year – her first ever leading role in a school production.
“Excited is an understatement,” she said, “I don’t think anyone was as surprised as me to see I got this role but I am so so grateful!”
“Besides the Orchestra being magnificent as usual, we are keeping the production true to the movie. This means big pieces and lots of amazing tech! Along with this, the show will be in Sepia until Dorothy goes to Oz so you can be expecting some quick costume changes,” Natasha said, speaking on the production as an exciting next step for the WCI drama and music departments.
Brianna W., a grade 12 student at WCI, will be playing the role of the Wicked Witch of the West.
“The role is so drastically different from me as a person, so it’s a fun challenge,” she said, “The Wizard of Oz is truly just a show that makes you feel good. It may not always make perfect sense or be the most realistic, but you just feel happy when you watch it.”
For Brianna’s role, the school will be handling a number of new special effects and some intense makeup design, painting her green to truly transform her into what she has described as “one of the most notorious villains of all time.”
“WCI students should come out to see the show to not only support their peers, but to also just be entertained for a couple of hours,” Brianna said.
The Wizard of Oz will be playing from November 29 to December 1st at Waterloo Collegiate Institute. All evening performances will be open to the public. In the meantime, the cast will be working hard to practice and prepare for what sounds like an incredible, cohesive show.
(Drawings by Sarah Miller).