There’s No Place Like Homeroom: Athens High School Presents “The Wizard Of Oz”

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We're not in Kansas–or The Plains, Ohio–anymore. At least not if the cast of Athens High School's The Wizard of Oz can help it. 

This weekend, student actors and crew members will whisk audiences away to a land of Munchkins, witches and ruby slippers, and Dorothy and the rest of the gang will be along for the ride.

The Wizard of Oz follows young Dorothy Gale. After a tornado rolls through her small town, she is transported to the magical land of Oz. Along the way, she encounters a number of characters, including a Cowardly Lion, a brainless Scarecrow, a heartless Tin Man and the Wicked Witch of the West.

Athens High School Drama Club Advisor Carol Patterson is directing the show. There are several reasons she chose Oz to be this year's musical.

"I try to select things with big casts that push [the students'] vocal abilities," she explained. "The music director is Lynn Sullivan. She’s incredibly good so I want to use her talent. Also, I had never directed this show and I’ve been directing for 45 years."

The cast includes two Dorothys and two Glindas (the Good Witch of the North) who will perform on different nights.

The high school students will be joined on stage by "guest artists"–a group made up of area middle and elementary schoolers who will round out the cast of Munchkins.

Although the production is using the script from the 1939 film, Patterson wanted to make this musical different from the iconic movie.

"A lot of where I’m coming from is the whole concept that, everything after [Dorothy's] first scene, or after the tornado, is her imagination," she said.

AHS junior Lucy Riesbeck, who will be playing Dorothy on April 13 and 14, believes this production of The Wizard of Oz is a good family event.

"It’s not one of those shows where you’re nervous about bringing your kids…it’s the perfect atmosphere for kids and also adults," she said. "It’s a classic."

The Wizard of Oz opens Thursday, April 11 at 7:30 p.m. in the Athens High School Auditorium with additional shows on Friday, April 12 and Saturday, April 13 at 7:30 p.m. and a Sunday matinee on April 14 at 2 p.m.

Tickets may be purchased at the door. For more information, contact Stacey Kimball at (740) 591-7499.