March 15, 2023
Article by Rachel Scofield
Photos by Amy Lynn
This weekend, Liberty Union High School Theater is proud to present The Wizard of Oz, the classic musical based on the beloved novel by L. Frank Baum and the 1939 film starring Judy Garland.
The story follows Dorothy Gale (senior Alison Sponseller), a young girl from a Kansas farm who dreams of a better life somewhere over the rainbow. When a tornado whisks her and her dog Toto to the magical land of Oz, she realizes quickly that there is no place like home.
With the help of Scarecrow (Heidi Chabot), Tin Man (sophomore Caroline Huber), and Cowardly Lion (sophomore Reagan Thomas), Dorothy journeys to find the Wizard of Oz (Jack Westhoven). Will he help her return to Kansas or will the Wicked Witch (Bailey Shy) get to her first?
“It is truly spectacular,” Sponseller (Dorothy) said. “It will remind them of a childhood classic that is loved by all and have them laughing and crying along with the characters. So much love and dedication has gone into this production and to be able to see it acted out on stage is something truly spectacular. And there is no place like Liberty Union Musical Theater!”
The production features a talented cast of students from the high school as well as elementary students who play the roles of Munchkins, flying monkeys, and other creatures from Oz.
“This musical has such an amazing cast and crew and wonderful sets that perfectly pay homage to the movie we all love,” Thomas (Cowardly Lion) said.
Freshman Caroline Endsley (Aunt Em/Glinda) agreed.
“It is a family-friendly, fun, production,” Endsley said. “All ages will enjoy it because there is something for everyone: wizards, witches, animals, fantasy, and more. It is upbeat and has a great message about the importance of family. In addition, the cast has been working very hard day and night to put on this amazing show for everyone to enjoy!”
Director Jill Henwood praised the hard work and dedication of the cast and crew, who have been rehearsing since January.
Emily Fisher, choir director at Liberty Union, is the musical director and producer. Henwood serves as both director and choreographer. Valeri Brokaw, choir director for the elementary and middle schools, assisted with the musical director and helped with the Munchkins.
Melissa Sponseller created the costumes and Nic Fisher was the lead set designer. Fisher had a lot of help from cast parents, cast members and parents of graduated cast members.
“There was a classroom who helped make our hot air balloon for the show, other school departments and parents have helped with making of props, and our art department had painted a lot of our scenery,” Henwood said.
Huber (Tin Man) believes that audiences will appreciate everyone’s hard work.
“So many students, parents, and other helpers have put so much time and effort into the beautiful set,” Huber said. “The show will not only be entertaining, but also especially visually appealing.”
The Wizard of Oz will be performed March 17-19 at Liberty Union High School’s auditorium. Showtimes are 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday with a 2 p.m. matinee on Sunday.
Tickets are $12.00 and may be purchased online. You may also purchase tickets at the door but seats are selling fast.
Click the arrows to view more Wizard of Oz images courtesy of Photos by Amy Lynn.