GWA Upper School Students performed The Wizard of Oz on March 20th, 21st, and 22nd. The annual musical is always a highlight for the GWA community and this year was no exception.
Our students and staff began working on the musical in October. Auditions were held during which students read scenes from The Wizard of Oz and sang parts of a song. Different actors were paired together during callback auditions to see how they read, danced, and sang together. Once the show was cast, rehearsals began three days a week. The cast learned the music for the show, the staging, and the choreography. As opening night approached, director and GWA Drama Teacher, Devan Hibbard, held two nighttime rehearsals so that the students could practice the show in the dark using the stage lights. On Monday, March 18th, the students ran through the show in their final dress rehearsal and performed a preview of the musical for the GWA Lower School.
Ms. Hibbard believes the show was challenging for the students involved in several ways. There was a lot of text to memorize and the actors had to stay engaged with every line. The songs in the show are also difficult to sing—with lots of high notes—and musical director Caty MacLeod challenged the cast as singers to reach higher notes, sing as an ensemble, and to listen to one another. The choreographers, Emily Brenner and student Yasmine El Harouchi, inspired the cast to dance more and to learn more complicated routines than many of the dancers had done before. Ms. Hibbard and The Wizard of Oz team hope the students gained more self confidence in their talents throughout this process and have seen not only how they were challenged, but that they can accomplish even more on stage!
Following the performances, Ms. Hibbard thanked the parents of the cast and crew “for being supportive of their students and all the staff members that helped and contributed their time and talents to help make the show a success. Most of all, I would like to thank the cast and crew for their dedication and efforts. We had a great team!”