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HomeArtKids of All Ages Take Part in Springstead's "The Wizard of Oz"

Kids of All Ages Take Part in Springstead’s “The Wizard of Oz”

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The classic story of “The Wizard of Oz,” much beloved by people of all ages, will be presented at Springstead High School. Multiple casts of different ages will bring to life the magical tale of a young girl’s journey to a mystical land.

Springstead High School presents “The Wizard of Oz” on April 11–14 at the Tommy Mara Center for the Arts at Springstead High School, 3300 Mariner Blvd., Spring Hill, courtesy of high school casts and a youth cast. The high school cast will perform at 7 p.m. on April 11–14 and at 2 p.m. on April 13–14. The youth theater cast will perform at 11 a.m. on April 13 and at 6 p.m. on April 14.

The classic musical “The Wizard of Oz” chronicles the adventures of Dorothy Gale, a young girl who experiences a tornado that sweeps her away from her Kansas home and transports her to the fantastical land of Oz. According to a show description, she travels down the Yellow Brick Road in search of her home with her devoted dog, Toto and three unusual companions: the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, and the Cowardly Lion. ” Dorothy’s ultimate goal is to seek the help of the mysterious Wizard of Oz to find her way back to Kansas. Along the way, she encounters a wicked witch, makes both friends and enemies, and discovers the power of courage, heart, and intelligence. The story is a timeless tale of self-discovery, friendship, and the realization that, sometimes, the things we desire most are already within us.

Filled with iconic songs like “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” and memorable characters, “The Wizard of Oz” is a heartwarming and magical journey that has captivated audiences for generations. It’s a story of home, hope, and the belief that there’s no place like it.

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In coordinating this production of “The Wizard of Oz,” Director Mark Pennington wanted to give young people of all ages the opportunity to appear and perform in this classic fantasy. “It’s a classic!” he said. “I also wanted to give kids in middle school the opportunity to come in and play the major roles of Dorothy, Scarecrow, Tin Man, and Lion. We have two casts: high school and middle school.”

As a matter of fact, the youth theater troupe includes students of all ages and backgrounds and represents many schools throughout Hernando County. “Many of these kids have worked on my shows since they were very young. We did have auditions in the theater,” said Pennington. “They represent elementary and middle schools from all over the county, including home schools.”

Pennington and his crew have staged a full-scale fantasy production complete with high-tech effects.
“Some of the “magic” is achieved through animated backdrops,” he said. “It’s very effective to have a video of the tornado on the backdrop while it is actually happening or a video of smoke when the witch makes her entrance.”

The play’s cast studied and prepared for their roles, drawing from previous versions of this certified classic. “I did encourage them to watch the original movie and live versions on YouTube,” he said. “Our script is the main source of study. You may see slight variations from the movie because we don’t have the special effects that a film might have.”

Pennington hopes that viewers will enjoy their magical journey to the wonderful Land of Oz. “The experience of live theater is magical!” he said. “They take away the experience of seeing the singing, dancing and acting performed by these very talented kids. It’s a great confidence builder for the kids.”

Holly Doyaga, Hailey Cooper, and Kaprice Licht, who is a member of the younger cast, all play Dorothy. Santiago Pinkney, Tristen Conway, and Brandon Guzman, who is part of the younger cast, all play Lion. Santiago Pinkney, Kalealani Nicolini, and Nolan Simpson, a member of the younger cast, all play the Scarecrow. Malachi Robertson, Parker Moore, and Tommy Cooper, who is a member of the younger cast, play Tinman.

Holly Doyaga’s mother, Jessica Doyaga, is also a student theater professional and a very proud mom. “My Holly has been singing Over the Rainbow since she was two years old,” she said. “Over the last five years, she has performed in several shows throughout the county (from Annie to Ghost of Christmas Present) and is excited to bring this song to the stage.”

For more information, call 352-797-7010 x221 or 352-476-9086, or visit SHSTICKETS.COM.

Santiago (Lion), Parker (Tin Man), Hailey (Dorothy), Kalealani (Scarecrow) [Courtesy photo]
Santiago (Lion), Parker (Tin Man), Hailey (Dorothy), Kalealani (Scarecrow) [Courtesy photo]
Holly (Dorothy) and Bella (Auntie Em) [Courtesy photo]
Holly (Dorothy) and Bella (Auntie Em) [Courtesy photo]
Kalealani (Scarecrow), Malachi (Tin Man), Holly (Dorothy), Ava (Auntie Em), Parker (filling-in), Mr. Wright (Professor/Oz) in rehearsal for Springstead's "Wizard of Oz" [Courtesy photo]
Kalealani (Scarecrow), Malachi (Tin Man), Holly (Dorothy), Ava (Auntie Em), Parker (filling-in), Mr. Wright (Professor/Oz) in rehearsal for Springstead’s “Wizard of Oz” [Courtesy photo]
Santiago (Lion), Malachi (Tin Man), Holly (Dorothy), Kalealani (Scarecrow), Ava (Toto) [Courtesy photo]
Santiago (Lion), Malachi (Tin Man), Holly (Dorothy), Kalealani (Scarecrow), Ava (Toto) [Courtesy photo]
Nolan (Scarecrow), Brandon (Lion), Kellen (Toto), Kaprice (Dorothy}, Tommy (Tin Man) [Courtesy photo]
Nolan (Scarecrow), Brandon (Lion), Kellen (Toto), Kaprice (Dorothy}, Tommy (Tin Man) [Courtesy photo]
Hailey (Dorothy) & Kalealani (Scarecrow) [Courtesy photo]
Hailey (Dorothy) & Kalealani (Scarecrow) [Courtesy photo]

Megan Hussey
Megan Hussey
Megan Hussey is a features journalist and author who is the winner of Florida Press Association honors and a certificate of appreciation from LINCS (Family Support Domestic and Sexual Violence Prevention Task Force) and Sunrise Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Center for her newspaper coverage of these issues. She graduated cum laude from Ball State University in Muncie, Ind., with a journalism major and English/sociology minor, and previously wrote for publications that include the Pasco editions of The Tampa Tribune and Tampa Bay Times. A native of Indiana, she lives in Florida.
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