The Otherside of the Rainbow: The Theater Department presents “The Wizard of Oz” post COVID-19 Break

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Astin Ramos

Seniors Abigail Cahill and Anthony Alvarez share a scene during dress rehearsal.

Zoey Pudenz, Co Editor-In-Chief

The dark year on the stage is over as the theater department presents “The Wizard of Oz” Nov. 18-20. Following a year after the success of their production of “Hairspray,” the anticipation is high.

Senior Abigail Cahill will take on the lead role of Dorothy in this year’s production which was her first lead role in first grade. Cahill is used to the spotlight of the lead role, as she played Tracy in “Hairspray.” 

“I’ve loved performing for so long, and last year I never got the chance to do that,” Cahill said. “It really felt like I had nothing to work towards, and now I have motivation for things back. I’m just excited for a live audience again because nothing beats performing in front of an audience.”

This spotlight has been carried with Cahill throughout the past two years which makes her feel pressure to live up to the expectation put onto her.  

“Hairspray is a really big show to come off of since it sold out really quickly,” Cahill said. “A lot of people associate Tracy with me, I still get asked about it to this day. It almost feels like no matter what I do there will be comparisons drawn, which is pretty hard.”  

Similar to Cahill, Deneault feels pressure for her direction of Wizard of Oz. The last time Deneault directed a show was for Romeo and Juliet, which was not nearly as successful as Hairspray. 

“Just being back with an audience, there is an energy that you do not get anywhere else,” Deneault said. “You don’t get the reciprocation loop with the audience through performances online. I’m very proud of the work that the cast put together in Hairspray, and the sophomores who are now seniors are killing it.”

Deneault believes one of the most important parts of this show is that the cast has fun.

“This is a show that is really about nostalgia and love which I think is what we need right now,” Deneault said. “Just a whole lot more love. Just joy in being and I think that’s what I’m shooting for right now.”

According to Deneault and senior Madeline Lamb, who will be playing the Lion, one of the biggest concerns for the show is the fact that two-thirds of the cast has never done a show before due to not having one last year.

A lot of people associate Tracy with me, I still get asked about it to this day. It almost feels like no matter what I do there will be comparisons drawn, which is pretty hard”

— Abigail Cahill

“Our freshmen and sophomores are being thrust into the fire, so having to deal with cast members who have no clue what they’re doing has been stressful,” Lamb said. “Obviously it’s not their fault, we’re just seeing way more ‘young’ actors than we have in the past.”

At first, masks were required for all cast and audience members. However, on Nov. 8, the board of education unanimously voted to make masks optional for the high school.

The news of the optional mask mandate was a positive one for the cast as it was difficult for them to perform while being in costume and having a mask.

“When I started practicing in full costume and mask, it was really difficult so being able to have them off is a huge relief,” Lamb said. “I also really like that they’re optional so that anyone who would feel more comfortable wearing a mask can do that.” 

According to Cahill, the cast hopes that the audience will perceive the show positively and give it a ‘chance.’

“I have a lot of pride in my class and my peers, and I’d love for them to see what we’ve been working this hard-on,” Cahill said. “It’s been a long and very stressful show, but I am beyond excited to put it out there.”

Deanna Jones