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Wallace Community College takes the Wiregrass to Oz

The production is from April 7-10.
Published: Apr. 7, 2022 at 1:21 PM CDT
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DOTHAN, Ala. (WTVY) - The Wallace Community College-Dothan Fine Arts Department is now showing its Spring production, “The Wizard of Oz.”

“Especially in this time I think we all want some happiness and we all need something for hope and something to share and not only on the tech side of things but on the acting side of things, you are going to hopefully just escape for an entire two hours into Oz and enjoy watching people get courage, get a heart, and find a brain and make your life the best it can be,” Charles Sirmon, Director, said.

The production kicked off for a sold out crowd of high school students from across the Wiregrass.

After months and months of rehearsal, the cast made it over the rainbow and onto the stage to showcase their hard work.

“Starting from the very beginning, and then seeing where we are now, how we came from absolutely nothing, and we’re literally about to open doors and have this whole place filled up, and all of the magic just comes to life,” Audrey huff, ensemble, said.

This cast is taking the audience down the yellow brick road, but they had to skip over some obstacles along the way. Sirmon said this is one of the more technical plays this program has showcased. He and the cast agree, overcoming each challenge has been worth it.

“Our final dress rehearsal was cancelled due to weather,” Sirmon said,

This quickly turned the casts “final rehearsal” into a live performance for high school students.

Much like the scarecrow, tin man and lion, the cast found the brain, heart and nerve to bring what Sirmon calls the “magic.”

“The Wizard of Oz always has a lot of magic,” Sirmon said. “If you know the show, of course, we have lots of surprises.”

That magic is on a mission of keeping the audience at the edge of their seat.

“There’s going to be a few quick changes, which is really exciting, and we are going to start out in black and white, and then it’s going to go to color,” Emma Munoz, playing the role of Dorothy, said.

While working through the lion, tigers and bears, the cast put team work at the forefront.

“We all kind of learned to really work together as a group and just kind of learning more about responsibilities, who needs to get certain props, who need to move certain sets,” Munoz said.

And when hidden chaos hits -

“Backstage how everything’s rushing together but then out front it looks perfect, but we’re yelling at each other, ‘Where are your props? Let’s go, let’s go let’s go,’” Huff said.

They are proud of what they are presenting to the Wiregrass.

“It’s just so much fun at the end of it, where we can sit back, and we’re kind of like, ‘Wow we really just did that,’ and then to have the whole audience clapping, it’s the best feeling in the world,” Huff said.

Several of these performers, including the six leads, are fine arts scholars; Munoz is one of them. She said she is thankful to have her education covered financially, while getting to learn textbook lessons and gain life skills through the program all at the same time.

“It’s really helped me become more extroverted and get to have fun talking to other people and just making a lot of new friends, and it’s just definitely helped with my confidence overall over the years being a performer,” Munoz said.

As the role of Dorothy, Munoz said she found is as a challenge in finding just how to play her character.

“There’s a lot of different layers to Dorothy,” Munoz said. “A lot of people think she’s just very overdramatic and is kind of ‘Oh poor me,’ but actually Dorothy’s very compassionate. She’s very caring. She ends up being courageous as the show progresses. There’s just a lot of sides to her that I really had to discover.”

For some performers, like Huff, the curtain will close for them for the last time Sunday while the memories of the stage live on.

“It’s amazing and so sad all at the same time,” Huff said. “Wallace Community College has given me such a great theater group and a group of friends to be able to communicate with and learn from.”

Click here to view the performance schedule and get your tickets.

The show runs from April 7 through the 10. Tickets are $5 for students and $10 for general admission.

Copyright 2022 WTVY. All rights reserved.

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