The Smoky Mountain musical theatre department will stage “The Wizard of Oz” this month in the school auditorium/theatre. Show times are 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 19, and 3 and 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 20.
There are right at 100 students involved in this production, including cast members, crew, sound, lighting and costumes. All the moving parts of a major production are student generated.
The musical features Jessica Sellers as Dorothy, Mitchell Russotti as Scarecrow, Zeke Sink as Tinman, Landon Myers as Lion, Carly Hester as Wicked Witch, Madeline Stevenson as Glinda, Zander Bryant as Guard, Camden Myers as Oz, Tuck Brown as Uncle Henry, Tessa Oaks as Aunt Em, Jonathan Ross as Hickory, Avery Hester as Hunk, Tucker Buchanan as Zeke and Crystal Creason as Miss Gulch. They are surrounded by a supporting cast of Munchkins, trees, crows, Ozians and dancers.
The show is choreographed by Katy Elders Morten and student dance captain Anneka Abbott. Seth Kuehn is assistant director and technical coordinator. Autumn Hall is artistic director, and Anne Rhymer is musical director.
“This musical was underway when COVID hit in March of 2020,” Director Linda Haggard said. “Everyone is very excited to continue and finish what was started almost two years ago,” Haggard said. “The cast is a little different to reflect our current students. We hope many of the original cast will return to support and cheer on these students. We have invited the original (from May 2007) Dorothy, Katy Elders, Scarecrow, Amy Haggard, Tinman, Josh Jones, and Lion, Billy Ayers to make a surprise cameo visit on stage for one of this year’s shows. Smoky Mountain produced ‘The Wizard of Oz” the first time in May of 2007. This is the first repeat of a musical in 19 years.”
Ticket prices are $5 for all children and students through high school age, $10 for college age students and $15 for adults. Reserve tickets by calling Haggard at 586-2177 ext. 2750 and purchase them at the box office at Smoky Mountain one to two hours before each show.
“We are excited to bring live theatre back to Smoky Mountain and our Jackson County community,” Haggard said. “We look forward to seeing and hearing a live audience. Please come support our very talented students on Nov. 19 and 20. ‘We’re off to see the Wizard.’”