Our local high schools have excellent performing arts programs and many put on several shows and concerts each year. This coming weekend, Graves County High School Musical Theatre program presents: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Graves County is one of the few schools in the area who features a live orchestra pit during their musical shows.

There will be two performances, one on Friday, November 16, and the second on Saturday, November 17. Both start at 7 pm. General Admission is $6 for adults and $3 for students/children. Please note that season tickets will only be honored at the November 17 performance.

iLove the Arts

Musical theatre teacher and coordinator, Mr. Mason Rice held auditions and cast 46 students in acting and tech roles and 45 students in the orchestra. The main roles are held by the following students:

  • Dorothy Gale – Rebekah Brown
  • Toto - Connor Saxon
  • Auntie Em – Isabella Hancock
  • Uncle Henry/Guard – Kyle McDaniel
  • Scarecrow/Hunk – Robert Bushart
  • Tin Man/Hickory – Christopher Peters
  • Cowardly Lion/Zeke – Allyson Pair
  • Miss Almira Gulch – Grace Schlatterer
  • Professor Marvel/ Oz – Michael Black
  • Glinda the Good Witch – Maci Green
  • The Wicked Witch of the West – Paige Jones

Auditions were held near the beginning of the school year, and students within the Musical Theatre class at GCHS were able to audition. Some middle school choir students were also invited to participate as Munchkins in the musical.

“Two weeks prior to the opening of the show, we have met every day after school until 6 pm,” Rice explained. “This week is tech week, where we'll rehearse with orchestra, mics, lights, set, props, costumes, and every other piece of the puzzle that we need to put together a show!”

Rice chose the Wizard of Oz for a couple of reasons. “I knew that the audience and the cast would be excited about,” said Rice. “This is such a classic show that people of all generations can relate to and enjoy. I also knew that I needed to pick a show with a huge cast, considering there were 46 people signed up for the Musical Theatre class at the beginning of the year! I needed a way to get every one of those students involved, and so the Wizard of Oz seemed like a perfect choice.

“There are so many groups of characters; I knew everyone would be able to find their own moment in an ensemble as large as this one. Along those lines, I really wanted to get the middle school involved as well. I knew that having a munchkin cast opened the door for us to bring in other students that don't always get the chance to perform in this kind of situation, and we've so enjoyed getting to work with these incredibly talented kids! There is something in this show for everybody, especially the animal lovers!”

iLove the Arts

Rebekah Brown who plays Dorothy decided to try-out because she’s always loved singing and acting. “I wanted to push myself to get out of my comfort zone so I could become a better performer.”

Christopher Peters who Tin Man said that his favorite part were the after school rehearsals. “I've enjoyed every bit of the preparation process. However, the after-school rehearsals are always something I looked forward to because we all got the opportunity to really get into character and have fun with the scenes.”

The Independence Bank Performing Arts Center is located at the corner of Graves County High School.  Tickets for either performance can be purchased at the door. Ticket booth and theater doors open at 6:30 pm.