On Thursday, some elementary school students took a trip to Hayes High School to preview Dempsey Middle School’s upcoming production of “The Wizard of Oz.”
The students were invited to the cast’s last dress rehearsal and cheered on the Dempsey students as they prepared for the show, which opens this weekend. The cast will perform the show at 7 p.m. tonight and at 1 and 7 p.m. Saturday.
Tickets are available at https://www.dcs.k12.oh.us/domain/242.
Dempsey Drama Director Jennifer Ruhlen said Thursday the show was selected because of its iconic nature and large cast.
“When we started discussing shows for this year we knew we needed to find something that would give as many kids as possible the opportunity to perform and do what they love,” Ruhlen said. “This classic and beloved story was the perfect fit!”
The show has many famous set pieces from the film, and Ruhlen said the show even contains a deleted scene.
“Fans of the movie are in for a real treat,” she said. “They’ll see some of their favorite moments and even find some new parts to love. ‘The Jitterbug’ was cut from the movie, but we have it with some really awesome special effects!”
Ruhlen said her favorite part of the production has been this week as the cast did dress rehearsals and the show was finalized.
“Seeing all of the pieces come together at once has been amazing,” Ruhlen said. “They have grown so much as a cast and crew since our initial auditions in August!”
Eighth grader Vivian Kumpf, who plays Glinda, said she’s excited for the show and has enjoyed preparing for this weekend’s performances.
“I’ve really liked meeting new people,” she said.
Kumpf said she isn’t too nervous but is very excited for one particular part of the show.
“I’m looking forward to flying down in a bubble,” Kumpf said.
Eighth grader EJ Markward, who plays the Tin Man in the show, said he’s nervous but looking forward to the show.
“This show has parts for the whole family,” he said.
Addisen Christopher, an eighth grader who plays Toto, said she enjoyed the community aspect of the show.
“I really liked meeting new people,” Christopher said. “(The directors made) drama a safe space for everyone.”
Christopher said she’s nervous because the first show on Nov. 18 is already sold out.
Eighth grader Tessa Zolman, who plays a flying monkey, likewise said she enjoyed meeting new people and is glad the show has a large cast.
“I made (a lot of) new friends,” Zolman said, adding she’s excited to perform but admitted that there’s “always nerves before a show.”
All four students said they are looking forward to taking part in drama next year when they are students at Hayes.
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903 or on Twitter @BattishillDG.