Arts & Entertainment

Lester C. Noecker School of Roseland to Present 'The Wizard of Oz'

ROSELAND, NJ — The students of Lester C. Noecker School will present “The Wizard of Oz” as its fifth annual production led by parent volunteers on Thursday and Friday at 7 p.m. on location at 100 Passaic Ave. Admission is free for both productions.

Sponsored by the Home and School Association (HSA) of Roseland, this year’s cast consists of approximately 50 students from the fourth, fifth and sixth grades. Parent volunteers leading the production include Missy Bonaguide, director and choreographer; Nancy Santero, assistant director and costume/prop designer; Donna Conklin-King, set designer; and numerous parents of participating students.

According to Bonaguide, theater is vitally important for children—giving them “skills they will use throughout their life regardless of career path.” In addition, Bonaguide said it requires them to use many parts of their brain at the same time, such as auditory processing as they listen to the music while simultaneously singing the memorized lyrics in tune as well as using both small and large motor skills and spacial awareness while dancing to the music.

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“Kids gain confidence, ease of speaking in front of a large group of people, a new way to express their emotions, an appreciation for the arts, a fuller understanding of teamwork; not to mention the self-esteem and joy they get for setting a goal, working hard, and achieving it,” said Bonaguide. “We are a group of professional artists donating time to make these shows possible because we believe so strongly in the power of theater.”

The classic tale tells the story of young Dorothy, who is living on a farm in Kansas when a large tornado picks up her house and her dog up and deposits them in the land of Oz. Things in Oz are strange and beautiful, but Dorothy just wants to get back home.

Dorothy is helped by the Good Fairy of the North, but is also in trouble with the Wicked Witch of the West, who seeks revenge for the death of the Wicked Witch of the East, for which she blames Dorothy. While seeking a way home, she meets a Scarecrow, who needs a brain; a Tin Man, who needs a heart; and a cowardly lion, who needs courage.

Robyn P. Greenwald, Principal, Roseland School District, said the children have been enthusiastically practicing their singing and dancing, and rehearsing lines each day since October. She added that the school community is extremely proud of all of the students participating in the play and is “eagerly awaiting to see their unique talents displayed on the stage.”

“Watch out Broadway, Noecker has a new show in town that is sure to impress,” she said. “A special thank you to Missy Bonaguide and the H.S.A., all of the parents involved in making this production possible, and the staff at school who have helped in preparing for this outstanding event. Bravo to the entire cast, and we are looking forward to a fabulous opening night.” 

Cast members for “The Wizard of Oz” include: 

Chloe Bonaguide (Dorothy);

Alea Bediner (Aunt Em, Oz Chorus);

Lexi Ciardella (Uncle Henry, Winged Monkey, Munchkin Chorus, Oz Chorus);

Aidan Alberto (Tin Man);

Hudson King (Lion);

Alexandra Jablonski (Scarecrow);

Tori Panicoe (Miss Gulch, Mayor, Apple Tree, Munchkin Chorus, Oz Chorus);

Max Levine (Professor Marvel, Oz’s Voice);

Keri Shaw (Southern Belle Girl, City Father, Winkie Guard, Munchkin Chorus);

Bridie O’Boyle (Fisherman, City Father, Winkie Guard, Munchkin Chorus),

Lauren Gentile (Cow, Crow, Winkie Guard);

Dina Ntoufas (Woman in Rocking Chair, Winkie Guard, Oz Chorus);

Dante DiGrezia (Toto);

Jasmine Racpan (Glinda);

Elaina De Lorenzi (Munchkin, Emerald City Chorus/Optimistic Voices, Winkie Guard, Munchkin Chorus, Oz Chorus);

Luciana Musano (Munchkin, Emerald City Chorus/Optimistic Voices, Munchkin Chorus, Oz Chorus);

Ava Russo (Barrister, Emerald City Chorus/Optimistic Voices, Munchkin Chorus);

Jack Bowe (Coroner, Doorman, Guard, Munchkin Chorus);

Tia Sidel (Wicked Witch);

Maggie McGovern (Munchkin Woman, Jitterbug, Munchkin Chorus);

Kaitlyn Rapp (Apple Tree, Lullabye Tot, Jitterbug, Munchkin Chorus);

Ava Manning (Apple Tree, Emerald City Chorus/Optimistic Voices, Oz Chorus);

Megan Dick (Oz Woman, Jitterbug, Oz Chorus);

Alexa Pennino (Nikko, Oz Chorus);

Chris Nigro (Leader of the Winkie Guards, Oz Chorus);

Sofia Moyano (Cat, Oz Chorus);

Jessica Brennan (Lullabye Tot, Jitterbug, Munchkin Chorus);

Rose Trupia (Lullabye Tot, Jitterbug, Emerald City Chorus/Optimistic Voices, Munchkin Chorus);

Charlotte Casazza (Lollipop Tough Guy, Emerald City Chorus/Optimistic Voices, Munchkin Chorus);

Danny Giannetti (Lollipop Tough Guy, Winged Monkey, Munchkin Chorus);

James Fries (Lollipop Tough Guy, Munchkin Chorus);

Ben Sayers (Lollipop Tough Guy, Winged Monkey, Munchkin Chorus);

Brynn Degnan (Crow, Emerald City Chorus/Optimistic Voices, Munchkin Chorus, Oz Chorus);

Olivia Manos (Crow, Emerald City Chorus/Optimistic Voices, Oz Chorus);

Nicholas Gagliano (Winged Monkey, Munchkin Chorus);

Matthew Leichter (Winged Monkey, Oz Chorus);

Isabella Lima (Winged Monkey, Winkie Guard, Munchkin Chorus);

Samantha Bertonaschi (Jitterbug, Oz Chorus);

Gabrielle Burk (Winkie Guard, Munchkin Chorus);

Meadow Doerr (Winkie Guard, Oz Chorus);

Sophia Duarte (Winkie Guard, Oz Chorus);

Victoria Perri (Winkie Guard, Munchkin Chorus);

Noelle Stewart (Winkie Guard, Munchkin Chorus);

Grace Stewart (Winkie Guard, Oz Chorus);

Eva Gargiulo (Munchkin Chorus);

Gabriella Romano (Munchkin Chorus);

Lilwenn Chiron (Oz Chorus);

Gisella Grande (Oz Chorus);

Dianna Robles (Oz Chorus);

Isabella Sun (Oz Chorus); and

Leah Vasquez (Ox Chorus).

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