Since the beginning of the school year, the Goessel High School Theater department has been rehearsing, memorizing, and choreographing the Kansas-based production of “The Wizard of Oz.”
The musical originally was written as the book, “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” by L. Frank Baum in 1900. The book was later adapted for film use and was produced as the well-known 1939 musical fantasy film, “The Wizard of Oz.”
Goessel will be staging the Royal Shakespeare Co. version with music and lyrics of the MGM motion picture score by Harold Arlen, E.Y. Harburg, Herbert Stothart and John Kane.
The production traces the story of Dorothy Gale and dog, Toto, as a twister takes her away from her Aunt Em, Uncle Henry, and three farm hands as she tries to understand why Almira Gultch has the right to take poor Toto away as he is a “menace to the community.”
Dorothy is swept up in her house, which is dropped in the magical land of Oz. Seeming to find no immediate way back to her home in Kansas, she travels with three unlikely friends and comes to realize why she never should have run away in the first place.
“Somewhere Over the Rainbow” is sung by Dorothy Gale, played by Alex Hiebert, senior. Uncle Henry is played by Keenan Stultz, sophomore. Doubly-casted as Aunt Em and Glinda, the Good Witch of the North, is Georgia Thiesen, senior. Almira Gultch and the Wicked Witch of the West are played by Sarah Booth, sophomore.
Hunk and the Scarecrow are played by Mark Schmidt, junior; Hickory and the Tin Man are played by Davis Cook, senior; and Zeke and the Cowardly Lion are played by Luke Unruh, freshman.
Professor Marvel and the great Wizard of Oz are portrayed by David Hesse, sophomore. The Munchkin Mayor is Erin Brubaker and the Munchkin coroner is Leighton Wagner. Gentry Thiesen plays the Emerald City guard and Zachary Wiens is Nikko, the commander of the Flying Monkeys. Pepper Makovec appears as Toto.
The stage is brought to life by munchkins, talking trees, citizens of Oz and flying monkeys.
Additional cast members are Alyssa Booton, Nathan Czarnowsky, Martina Filippi, Chase Flaming, Kellen Froese, Shane Goerzen, Jake Herrel, Rebekah Herrel, Ashley Hiebert, Page Hiebert, Reece Hiebert, Makayla King, Amelie Kirner, Lawton Makovec, Alicen Meysing, Kevin Moon, Alisha Nolte, Matthew Regier, Sophie Scheffe, Arik Schmidt, Trey Schmidt, Kara Schmucker, Bjoern Schuemann, Tyler Schulz, Zachary Showalter, Giuliana Silva, Justyne Spragg, Austin Strunk, Jade Sterk, Gracie Sullivan, Kylee Unruh and Anna Wiens.
Tia Goertzen and Erin Brubaker are stage managers. Technical and stage crew members are Heath Goertzen, Dan Smucker, Ben Wiens and Aaron Woelk.
The musical is directed by Renae Schmidt Peters with assistants Tonya Keim Bartel and Adam Akers. Marcia Brubaker is the accompanist.
“The Wizard of Oz” will be performed twice: at 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 9, and Saturday, Nov. 10, in the Goessel High School auditorium.
FCCLA will serve a lasagna dinner from 5:45 p.m. to 6:45 p.m. in the high school cafeteria (donations accepted).
Admission for the musical is $5 for adults and $3 for children, students and seniors. Tickets are available at the Goessel High School office, 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. For more information, call 620-367-2242.