No place like home

Theatre department brings ‘Wizard of Oz’ to the stage

The curtain rises to see a giant book titled “The Wizard of Oz.” A pair of flying monkeys come around to mess with the audience. They stop to open the book, revealing retired teacher Steven Domke, who plays as the author, L. Frank Baum. The surprised audience cheers for Baum as he comes out to address the audience. He ends with his speech with one thought, that there is no place like home. Home is exactly where the cast and crew of “The Wizard of Oz” felt. The emotions proved it when the last show came about. Directors and seniors Renee Mozal and Keaton Barbes felt extremely proud of the show they helped put on stage.

“The show was really good.” Mozal said. “The effort that the cast and crew put in made this one of the best shows at Utica, and I was proud to have directed.”

Before the shows, the directors got the cast pumped up in the band room with warm ups. They start warming up with a game or two and some articulation exercises. Once they are finished, the directors give the cast and crew some words of encouragement and put their hands in. The last pep talk, reaching deep within the cast and crews’ hearts, left them in tears before the show. Some members of the cast even had to do their make up again.

“It was an overwhelming feeling of emotions,” senior Victoria Strong said, “to have a sense of accomplishment and to see that our directors were proud of us. In that moment, it really felt like we were a family.”

Even the stage managers, seniors Connor Madek and Alex Moticsak, felt the emotions all around. Their hard work truly paid off in the end. As stressful of a job as stage managing is, Madek and Moticsak’s efforts in constructing the show helped create all the magic to be seen.

“I really didn’t want to see it end.” Moticsak said. “Even though I had a lot of responsibility and stress, I enjoyed every second of it.”

Once the show came to an end, the directors came out with the rest of the seniors to do their final bow. Emotions were surrounding the audience as the seniors bow. The home feeling was there, reaching out to children even to teachers, and especially student teacher William Mathis, who helped out with the show.

“I was so grateful to make a lot of connections with these kids,” Mathis said.”Even though there were problems, that is what made us grow stronger. Those who fight as a family stay as a family.”

After the show, the cast and crew followed tradition and went out to Red Robin. The group goes out to spend one last moment together until the next show. With the sets down and the stage clear, the department is ready to get started with their next show in January titled, “That’s Not How I Remembered It.”