The community of Oakdale is in for a treat, as the Oakdale High School drama department prepares once again for a musical which will have audiences singing its praises.
OHS drama presents ‘The Wizard of Oz’ with shows Thursday, May 12 through Sunday, May 15. The Thursday, Friday and Saturday shows are at 7 p.m.; Sunday show is at 2 p.m. All performances will be presented in the OHS Theater. Tickets are $8 per person and are available at the OHS business office or at the door, if any remain. The theater offers limited seating so audiences are encouraged to buy tickets in advance.
A cast of over 40 representing Oakdale elementary schools, Oakdale Junior High and OHS will grace the stage and take its audience through the wild and wonderful world of the musical version of this classic.
Auditions were conducted in late February. The cast has been working tirelessly over the past two months to ensure it is a performance not soon to be forgotten.
Cast in the lead roles are: Grace Buzzini as Dorothy, Joseph Gutierrez as Scarecrow, Thomas Mason as the Cowardly Lion and Zach Mooneyham as the Tin Man.
Each of the leads shared they auditioned with their particular characters in mind for varying reasons.
“The Wizard of Oz is my very favorite,” Oakdale High senior Zach Mooneyham said. “The Tinman has always been my favorite so I wanted that part. I was really nervous.”
Grace, a freshman and the baby of the group, shared an interest in pursuing the part of Dorothy for the experience in her first high school performance. Past performances for the lead female have come in the way of the ever popular Stanislaus County Office of Education’s YES Company.
“I’m nervous during every performance,” Grace said of auditioning for the lead as Dorothy. “The biggest challenge has been balancing the rehearsal with school work, but we’re getting it done.”
Each of the four leads has appropriately brought their personalities and passion for the roles to the stage.
Sophomore Thomas Mason said he grew up with the movie as one loved by his mother.
“I watched the Cowardly Lion and thought, I can do that,” Thomas said, adding that he sought help from a friend to properly prepare for the vocal piece of the audition.
Now in the Lion role, Thomas shared he’s enjoying bringing the character to life and stated that “If I Were King of the Forest” is his favorite scene.
“I just like hopping around the stage,” he said. “It makes me happy.
“Being able to see this on stage with real actors and up close in the theater is nothing like the movie,” the sophomore said of the production.
“We make a lot of the sets, we build everything and paint everything,” Grace said of the work put into the production by the OHS dram department as well as the cast. “I’m really proud of everybody on this play because it looks really good.”
“The unity that there is,” Zach said of the cast and crew, “I don’t think there’s any other theater like this one. It’s a love/hate, but we all come together and support one another.”
“I love that it’s a family show,” Grace said of her first OHS performance, “so everyone can enjoy it and connect in their own personal way.”
“I really love the colors,” Thomas added of the set. “I love the colors of this play. It’s very visually appealing to the eyes. If you’ve not seen it on stage before, you should definitely see it.”