SCCHS vocalists ready to tackle lead roles in Wizard of Oz musical

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The Southwest's most anticipated drama/musical production of the fall will begin it's five performance run next week when the Swift Current Comprehensive High School's Fine Arts Department presents The Wizard of Oz.

The curtain rises on the musical The Wizard of Oz on Nov. 27, with the show playing nightly at 7 p.m. until Nov. 30. There is also a matinee performance at 1 p.m. on Nov. 30.

There are a total of 70 students involved in this major production, which follows on the heels of the SCCHS production of the musical Grease in 2011 and last year's bigger than life The Big Friendly Giant.

The Wizard of Oz is a major collaboration between all the areas of the Fine Arts Department. Students are tackling all the on stage jobs, all the crew and off stage coordinating, while music department students are performing the live orchestral accompaniment during the shows. To make the production even more exciting, this year marks the 75th anniversary of the movie classic The Wizard of Oz.

Grade 11 student Chloe Golden is playing the legendary role of Dorothy in the musical, with the long-time singer now making her acting debut in the musical.

"I've been in music forever, and all the choirs and stuff. And every since I was little I really wanted to be in a musical. I haven't acted since like Grade 6, and I don't know if that really counts. So I kind of just went out on a limb and got Dorothy," she admitted following a lengthy seven hour rehearsal this past Sunday.

Even though it is her first time on an acting stage, she has become comfortable with the character, including being on stage in Dorothy's iconic red shoes.

"It takes some adjusting, but I got it now and it's pretty cool," she said of her role.

Sunday also marked the first time the stage performers had a chance to work with their live student orchestra, with their previous rehearsals occurring while being accompanied by recorded music.

"It was easier because we could kind of push and pull with the time a bit. But we only get to practice with them twice before we perform, so that's kind of stressful," she admitted.

Dalton Lam, who is tackling the role of the Cowardly Lion, is also making his drama debut.

"It's progressed further than I thought it would," he admitted following a two-hour rehearsal stage appearance in full costume. "But we've put it together quickly."

Lam also admitted he was intrigued with the chance to try out for a musical following his years of singing in SCCHS choral groups.

"It's Grade 12 and it's a musical, and music's one of the things I'm better at, so I thought I might give it a shot."

As it is his first opportunity to be on stage acting, he has developed a greater appreciation for what it takes to put on such a major production as this.

"Especially those people that don't have as many scenes, it's probably harder for them because they aren't always doing something."

As with the rest of the cast, they watched The Wizard of Oz and carefully watched their own characters.

"It's hard. It was a lot of work trying to think of how he would act and stuff. It's been interesting," Lam said.

The main characters cast list includes:

Dorothy - Chloe Golden; Scarecrow - Emmanuel de Gala; Tin Man - Kurtis Pratt; Cowardly Lion - Dalton Lam; Auntie Em/Good Witch of the North - Sierra Francis; Uncle Henry/Gate Guard - Brett Dobson; Wizard of Oz - Shawn Wiskar; Wicked Witch of the West - Amber Dormuth.

Advance tickets are $15 for adults and $10 for students and seniors and can be purchased at Pharmasave.

Doors to the SCCHS Cafeteria open 30 minutes before performance times.

Organizations: Swift Current Comprehensive High School

Geographic location: Swift Current

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