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Students, with community help, are off to stage ‘The Wizard’ in LaFargeville


LAFARGEVILLE — “The Wizard of Oz” is helping the LaFargeville Central School District conjure up something spectacular for the community, the show’s co-director said.

Musicals returned to the district three school years ago following an absence of decades. The students in the drama club, who had previously stuck with plays, staged “Bye Bye Birdie” two years ago and “Once Upon a Mattress” last school year.

“This is the biggest show we’ve ever done with the most people involved,” said Brianna L. Draper, French teacher and co-director of “The Wizard of Oz,” which will be staged Friday and Saturday nights in the high school auditorium. “We also have our best sets this year, our best costumes and we definitely couldn’t do it without the support of our fellow staff members, parents and community members.”

Community involvement, Ms. Draper said, has been overwhelming since the district began staging musicals again.

“We’ve had parents, staff members and other teachers helping with everything from costumes and sets to management of all the younger kids here,” Ms. Draper said.

Students in grades two through 12 are in “The Wizard of Oz.” There are approximately 45 elementary students in the production.

Ms. Draper said one of the reasons “The Wizard of Oz” was selected was that she wanted to involve younger children in this year’s musical.

“We were also looking for a show that people recognized to hopefully get some more people to come to our show because we are a relatively new program,” she said.

“The Wizard of Oz” is based on the book by L. Frank Baum. Music and lyrics are by Harold Arlen and E.Y. Harburg. It closely follows the storyline and includes the songs from the 1939 film.

Students welcomed it being selected for this year’s show.

“I’ve always loved the show because it’s so iconic,” said sophomore Rachel E. Wilson, who plays the Tin Man. “And it’s absolutely fun to play. All the characters are memorable and out of this world.”

“The movie has always been one of my favorites, even though it’s a little old-school,” said senior Gavin J. Davidson, who plays the Scarecrow.

Mr. Davidson said the Scarecrow was the only role he tried out for and the only one he was interested in.

“People have always described me as lanky and goofy, so I always kind of connected with the Scarecrow,” he said.

Senior Joshua M. Baughn, who plays the Lion, said the older students enjoy giving the younger students on the set pointers.

“We can help them out if they need anything and they are so well-behaved. That’s never an issue,” he said.

Mr. Baughn, who plans to attend Johnson (Vt.) State College this fall to study musical theater, said the community involvement with the school’s musicals has boosted the students’ spirits.

“We’ve had days when we have stayed 8:30 or 9 in the morning to 1 in the afternoon working on the sets,” Mr. Baughn said. “Parents have come in with lunch and we’ve had such a great connection with those parents and community members. People ask about the show and how they can help.”

Audience members, Miss Wilson said, will see the results of that community support and student enthusiasm.

“With this show we have done so much more with our sets and our character development,” she said. “I think that we have a great cast dynamic and I really think the audiences will be able to see that. We absolutely put 110 percent into the show.”

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The cast of “The Wizard of Oz” at LaFargeville Central School District:

Kaitlyn Farrell as Dorothy, Taylor Briggs as Auntie Em, Troy Hattori as Uncle Henry, Gavin Davidson as the Scarecrow and Hunk, Rachel Wilson as the Tin Man and Hickory, Joshua Baughn as the Lion and Zeke, Madeline Timerman as Miss Gultch, Katie Beeles as Professor Marvel, Jackie LaRose as Glinda, Allison Hoover as the Wicked Witch, Callie Rapant as the Emerald City guard, Michael Wells as the Wizard of Oz, Kenneth Sharp as Winkie General, and Logan Brown as Nikko and a tree.

Other trees: Hayley Valin, Sierra Klepacz

Crows: Allie Martin, Marlee Gill and Joey Beaudoin

Poppies: Rachael Brown, Eliza Frank and Farrah Thompson

Winkies: Alexis Beck, Melanie Haggerty, Samantha Lewis, Avery Peck and Hayley Timerman

Flying monkey: Olivia Cratsenberg

Munchkins: Lindsay Brown, Natalie Waterman, Trenton Thompson, Robert Hellings, Elizabeth Hellings, Alexis Ridsdale, Vera Blackford and Delanie Peck

The Lullaby League: Mckenna Autrey, Carly LaBow, Madison LaLonde, Jamie Putnam and Vivian Silva

The Lollypop Guild: Hunter Levesque, Wyatt Parliament, Luke Paquin, Matthew Paquin, Chelsea Russell and Addison Waterman

The Munchkin woman is Brooke McKee.

The Munchkin ensemble: Cooper Antonson, Ethan Hattori, Leslie Humiston, Brian Kindrew, Allyson Morgan, Audie Seamans, Kellie Sourwine, Chelsea Davis, Jayden Hudson, Cheyanne Lewis, Chloe May, Michael Roberts, Jeremy Shelley and Ruby VanKessel

The ensemble: Lacey Black, Cara Dominie, Megan Liede, Bethany Cratsenberg, Emmaray Humiston, Emma Timerman and Eva Watson

Stage crew: Emily Martin, Melissa Russell and Andrew Morrison

Co-director and musical director is Shelly Peck. Choreography is by Marci Ormsby.

the details
WHAT: “The Wizard of Oz” presented by the drama club at LaFargeville Central School, 20414 Sunrise Ave.
WHEN: 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday
COST: General admission tickets are $5
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