SOMERS, N.Y. - While the Somers Middle School Drama Club students are gearing up to portray the tiny residents of Munchkin Land in an upcoming production of “The Wizard of Oz,” there is nothing small about them. At 91-members strong, this is one of the largest casts to perform on the middle school stage in school history. And they’ve put the show together quickly.
Typically, the club has a six-month window before opening night, said Jamie Guest, Drama Club president. This year, the cast and crew had just one month to prepare; rehearsals began in January and the show opens Thursday, Feb 9. However, Guest said that the production is coming together nicely and to accommodate the large group, the four-show run will be split between two casts: the “Emerald” group and the “Rainbow” group.
Guest will portray Dorothy in the Emerald group’s performances. Unlike her character, who finds herself displaced in the magical world of Oz, Guest is right in her element. Now in eighth grade, she has been in every school production since grade six.
The story’s hopeful and adventurous story of exploring new territory is something Guest thinks audience members will enjoy navigating with the actors, and is as relatable as ever.
“It’s very upbeat,” she said.
Maryanne Martabamo, one of the parents involved with the production, agrees that the young cast punctuates the childlike wonder that 12-year-old Dorothy experiences as she moves through the dreamy Emerald City.
“Because it’s done by young adults, it gives [the audience] a sense of being a child again,” she said, adding that she believes the show will evoke the same “good feeling” as the Technicolor 1939 classic beloved by generations.
She did tease that their version strays from the film’s script, offering a few surprise numbers; however, audiences can expect to see all of their favorite characters for the price of $10 per ticket.
The Emerald cast will perform Thursday, Feb. 9, at 7 p.m. and Saturday, Feb. 11, at 2 p.m., and the Rainbow cast will go on Friday, Feb.10, at 7 p.m., and Saturday, Feb. 11, at 7 p.m. To buy tickets in advance visit somersmsm.seatyourself.biz.