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Friday, March 25, 2016

The Wizard of Oz Cast and Crew From My Prospective

The Cowardly Lion, as portrayed in the Highlands Middle School rendition of The Wizard of Oz. Via Facebook. 
By Lexie Crawford, Highlands Middle School Budding Journalist 

From Thursday, January 28th to Sunday, January 31st, Highlands Middle School put on a production of The Wizard of Oz. Over 100 middle and high schoolers were involved in this fascinating experience. The Wizard of Oz is a beloved movie made into a musical. With there being such a numerous amount of parts in this production, many will be able to recall the fun times they had.

Seventh grader Maddy Baldrick, in the house and publicity crew, gave some insight on several topics. She tried out for cast, but ended up in crew where you need to have an interview to get in. It was easy to recall her memories, and some favorites were breakdancing backstage to weird songs. With practices until 10:30 p.m. on school nights, this was also a struggle. Good thing Baldrick was at ease on stage, with experiences like choir concerts and many dance recitals. Maddy overall had a great time and loved this experience!

Emma Horton (grade 7) played the lead flying monkey, Nikko, as well as a munchkin in this production. Emma is very experienced on the stage, with performances including Children of Eden (St. Catherine’s Players,) Moyer’s Got Talent, Various CCC concerts/events (Cincinnati Children’s Choir), CCM’s mainstage Opera Hansel and Gretel, The Little Prince (Cincinnati Chamber Opera), and (April 8th, 9th, 10th 2016) CCM’s mainstage Opera The Cunning Little Vixen as the Vixen Cub. Emma says, "My favorite thing about being in the Wizard of Oz would have to be that I was cast as Nikko (lead flying monkey.) Since I play roller derby, and I love theater, my two worlds collided on this one and I couldn’t be happier!"

Emma and the other flying monkeys went to Beechmont Rollerena together to gain experience and bond, which was one of her favorite things about this.

The Wicked Witch of the West (A.K.A. Miss Gultch) was played by Lizzy Roeding, 8th grader. Lizzy spent almost every day outside of rehearsals practicing the voice of the witch and memorizing lines. Over January, she only had 4 days off of practices. Despite the hard work of Tech Week and rehearsals on school nights lasting until 10:30 at night, Lizzy still had lots of fun. Some of her favorite things included listening to music before shows, hanging out in the black box, and getting painted green. This was Lizzy's last show at Highlands Middle School, but some of her previous performances have included Music Man and Once Upon a Mattress. She has also been involved in many Dance Recitals, including Nationals, All-State Choir, and Honor Choir.

For another special insight into the cast, Natalie Horton (6th grade), Makeup and Costume Crew, tells us about her experience.  To be a part of this, Horton had to go to an interview, the same way Maddy Baldrick did. Natalie may have been backstage, but she is also talented on stage, with an experience in the Garden of Eden production. As a favorite memory, she says being there for the Mic Check was a lot of fun. She had fun with this because she and her friends in crew knew all the lines and sang songs with the cast.

The Wizard of Oz / Professor Marvel was played by 7th grader Joss Finseth. To audition he had to do a monologue and at least 16 measures of a Broadway song. Joss was in the Music Man last year and has been in Highlands Band Concerts. The thing he disliked most was being at school for so long, sometimes more than 12 hours at a time. Joss liked this experience a lot because of backstage experiences like listening to the song, Stacy's Mom, and playing cards. The hours of rehearsals and private practice paid off though!

I hope you enjoyed hearing about behind the scenes of the Highlands Middle School production The Wizard of Oz!  Many hours of rehearsals, not even including private practice, paid off to make this a rewarding experience for all involved. All the people involved in this bonded and share many fun memories that will last for a lifetime.

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