Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Entertainment

March 8, 2012

Off to see the wizard

'Wizard of Oz' debuts tonight at Goshen High School

GOSHEN — Brittany Olson decided to try out for the school musical.

No stranger to the stage, Olson sang in middle school musicals and had been performing since she was a little girl. “My parents brought me up on the stage,” she said.

Nonetheless, the Goshen High School junior had never performed in a Goshen High School show before. Olson decided to audition.

“I got a role,” she said. That’s both accurate and understatement. Olson landed the role of Dorothy, no small part in “The Wizard of Oz.” She gets to sing “Over the Rainbow.”

“It’s all fun,” Olson said of her part prior to a rehearsal this week. In the world of musical theater, Olson also gets swept up by a tornado, befriends a Scarecrow, Tin Woodman and Cowardly Lion, and encounters witches both Good and Wicked.

And she has a little dog, too. When not on stage, “Toto” goes by the name Leo, and is owned by David Martinez.

“He varies from day to day,” Olson said of working with her canine co-star. “He gets a little excited when there are a bunch of people onstage. But he does pretty good overall.”

Olson is familiar with the MGM “Wizard of Oz” film. Prepping for her role, she indicated, involved “watching it every night — trying to get from Point A to Point B, taking tips from what (Judy Garland) does.”

Cinema was also a guide to getting into character for Madeline Yost, who plays the Wicked Witch.

“I knew what I needed to do, and then when I got on stage it was incredibly hard,” Yost said. “I didn’t think it would be hard. But watching the movie, and having different references from different movies, really helped kind of mesh and become one character.”

It’s a character Yost enjoys bringing to life onstage.

“It’s fun just being wicked,” she said. “It’s easy to be nice and pretty and cute. But being wicked, not a lot of people let themselves go there. And playing that role is so much fun.”

“Oz” director Marcia Yost said she hopes the audience feels free to get involved with the musical. The goal is for the audience to experience the show, not simply watch it. “We will attempt to bring it to life with your help in such a way that we will all feel like we have made the journey with Dorothy,” Yost states in her director’s notes.

Cast

Principal cast members in “The Wizard of Oz” include:

Dorothy — Brittany Olson

Toto — Leo

Uncle Henry/Guard — Ben Wineland

Auntie Em — Miranda Earnhart

Hunk/Scarecrow — Anthony Campagna

Hickory/Tin Man — Ben Ganger

Zeke/Lion — Samuel DeMoya

Professor/Oz — Patrick Rieth

Glinda — Breanna Bloom

Miss Gultch/Wicked Witch — Madeline Yost

Munchkin Mayor — Austin Reith

Munchkin Barrister — MacKenzie Yoder

Munchkin Coroner — Levi DeMoya

Winkie General — Tyler Buss

Nikko (Head Monkey) — Josh Miller

Production staff

Director — Marcia Yost

Assistant director — Susan Hepler Yoder

Production manager — Richard Snyder

Costumes — Sue Neeb

Props/house manager — Patty Morgan

Choreography — Jackie Jerlecki and Kristyn Taylor

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