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Albion Middle Schoolers persevere in performing Wizard of Oz

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 18 March 2017 at 9:44 am

Extreme weather knocked out 5 rehearsals in last 2 weeks

ALBION – The Wicked Witch of the West (Olivia Morrison) confronts Dorothy (Aubrey Boyer) and her friends during the Albion Middle School production of The Wizard of Oz on Friday. There are shows today at noon and 7 p.m. at the Middle School Auditorium.

Last night’s show included a fire alarm about halfway through the second act. The crowd and performers all had to leave the building after the fog machine triggered the fire alarm.

It was the latest adversity for the cast and crew of 73 students. They had five of their rehearsals canceled in the past two weeks because of the wind storm that knocked out power and then the snow storm this week.

The students put on an entertaining show last night and were given a standing ovation by the crowd.

This is the 40th show led by Carrie Kozody, director, and Kevin Feder, the assistant director. Kozody thanked the students for persevering in the face of so many challenges in the past two weeks.

Dorothy (Aubrey Boyer) holds her dog Toto while on the Kansas prairie with her Aunt Em (Annaliese Steier) and Uncle Henry (Jacob Coolbaugh).

In Munchinland, the mayor (second from right – Leah Kania) and the farmer (right – Keyonna Hamilton) realize Dorothy’s house has flattened the Wicked Witch of the East, who tormented the Munchkins. Dorothy was presented several gifts who ridding the Munchkins of their enemy.

Glinda, the good witch played by Sydney Mulka, presents Dorothy with the ruby slippers and sends her on her way to the Emerald City to see the Wizard of Oz, who might be able to help Dorothy get back to Kansas.

Emily Merger plays the Tin Man, one of three friends Dorothy makes on the way to see the Wizard of Oz. The Tin Man feels inadequate because he doesn’t have a heart.

The Yellow Brick Road Dancers include, from left: Maleah Knight, Leeanna Montanarella, Annabella Salisbury, Emma Tower, Alyson Knaak and Hannah Coolbaugh.

The four friends are happy after they reach the Emerald City. The Tin man (Emily Merger), Dorothy (Aubrey Boyer), the Scarecrow (Zachary Kilner) and the Lion (Myleigh Miller) all have requests for the Wizard. The Tin Man wants a heart and Dorothy wants t go home, while the Scarecrow wants a brain and the Lion would like courage.

Kenyatta Hamilton is one of the Ozians in the Emerald City.

Olivia Bieber also performs as an Ozian during Friday’s performance. The cast includes students in grades 6 through 8.

The Great Oz appears as a disembodied head. He is voiced by Will Trembley. Oz refuses to grant any wishes until the group comes back with the broomstick from the Wicked Witch of the West.

The Witch’s Winkies are led by the Winkie General (Jacob Coolbaugh). The Lion, Scarecrow and Tin Man would dress as Winkies to rescue Dorothy and Toto from the Witch’s castle.

Will Trembley plays the Wizard. He shows the Scarecrow, Tin Man and Lion how they already had the brains, heart and courage they desired. He tells Dorothy he will take her back home in a hot air balloon.

Dorothy (Aubrey Boyer) takes a bow at the end of Friday’s show, which was disrupted by a fire drill. The show didn’t end until about 10:20 p.m. The crowd showed its appreciation for the students who are back today for shows at noon and 7 p.m.

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