Wiz of the West!

What do you do when your 2nd grader is cast as the title role in a school play? You take LOTS of pictures, that’s what! It’s true – last week the Missoula Children’s Theater arrived in town, bringing with them everything needed to cast 60 of Mt. George Elementary School’s kids in a full musical comedy. With Missoula, the auditions are on Monday, and by Saturday the play is on! It’s incredible.

Last year, Anna played one of a group of “Foresters” in Robin Hood. She had a line, and had lots of fun. THIS year, well, let’s just say she must have caught the bug last year, because she wowed the directors! (No, we’re not biased or anything!) She was selected for the role of “The Wiz” in The Wiz of the West – a funny, old west version of Wizard of Oz, where Dorothy is “Dotty” and the “Tinman” is “Tinhorn”. The subtitle read like this: “There’s no place like home … on the range!”

So with crazy excitement Anna went though a week of after-school rehearsals. Each day, she rehearsed with her co-stars until 7 pm, then dragged herself back to school the next day to do it all over again. By the end of the week, we were ALL exhausted! But, no time to rest – the show day was here! Saturday begain with a dress rehearsal at 11 am – the kids’ first chance to do the whole show from start to finish on the stage. Then, two performances for audiences of 200+ at 3 pm and 7 pm. And, we can safely report that the whole show was great!

As for Anna, well we’re so proud of her! Her “Wiz” part doesn’t come until the end of the play, so for the beginning of the play she also played the “Tarantula Queen”, which involved much running, flapping of many arms, and coordinated dancing. She then ran backstage and changed costumes, and readied her booming “Wiz” voice. The Wiz, like the one in Wizard of Oz, hides behind a curtain and pretends to be big and powerful. Then, when the curtain comes down, he is revealed to be a little, normal person. All that self-discovery stuff then ensues. Anna yelled as loud as she could through a mega-phone from behind the curtain, then came out looking oh so small, compared to the 5th graders playing the Dorothy & Friends roles. So in the end, it was a great performance, both by Anna and by the whole school.

See the pictures here! I’ll add a video soon. Enjoy!

01-19-2008 Anna in Wiz of the West
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