FAIRMONT- Community members are welcome to follow the yellow brick road to the Performing Arts Center at Fairmont High School “The Wizard of Oz” shows this week. The concert opens today with a free adult at 12:30 pm It will be shown at 7 pm Thursday to Saturday.
This year’s fall musical is directed by high school English teacher Sara Gudahl, who said she likes to alternate years between old and new shows. Last year the show was “story” so this year they chose something more advanced.
“We chose ‘Wizard of Oz'” because, with the children we have, we knew that we would have good voices and our skills and many children who are interested. We wanted something that would be like a big player,” Gudahl said.
The show is open to all students in grades 7 through 12 and Gudahl said this year has about 120 students between the cast and crew.
“It’s up quite a bit from previous years. The program just keeps getting bigger,” Gudahl said.
He said last year the theater program graduated 30 students, but this year there is still a large group of students who have been there for several years, along with newcomers.
“It is an exciting year to see new faces and to be supported by children who have been working for a long time,” Gudahl said.
She said another student, Abi Peyman, who plays Dorothy, has been in the theater program since seventh grade when she played Annie in the show.
“It’s a great way for him,” Gudahl said.
Students began rehearsing for the show on Sept. 19. Since then they have been meeting for two or three hours five nights a week. Students have the opportunity to participate in music and other sports and lessons that they participate in, because they start at 6:30 to 8:30 or 9 pm.
Although a beloved and popular show, the problem with this year’s selection is that it is very technical.
“It’s a story that everyone knows but it’s going to go through a nine-episode adaptation with special effects happening along the way,” he said. Gudahl said.
He said that the staff is suffering more this year than in previous years and as a result, fewer people have been recruited to help.
Some of the tasks that the crew takes on range from lighting and lighting to changing sets as quickly as possible.
“I also have people in charge of special events and if you think”the wizard of oz,” There is a storm and we have to demolish the house. We also have a crystal ball and a wizard appearing behind the curtain. All these pictures have special things that need to happen and people to make them happen,” Gudahl said.
Because of all the effects, Gudahl said this show can be more expensive than others. A dresser, he compares them to it “Beauty and the Beast,” which the school put up a few years ago. However, he said he borrowed the clothes he wore when he got Oz’s clothes.
Several community leaders have volunteered to sew and handcraft several of the costumes they will make this year, which Gudahl appreciated.
Although there are several Bibles “The Wizard of Oz,” Gudahl said he chose the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) version because it was the closest to the film. He said that it is almost exactly the movie, but that there is a scene that was cut from the original movie.
“This has been an exciting addition for us. It’s a new song and a new number that adds to the story,” Gudahl said.
Overall, Gudahl was thankful for the participation and community volunteers who have helped make the show possible and hopes more people will come to see the hard work the students put into this year’s production.