‘Wizard of Oz’ opens today

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by Greta Yeoman

It might be a long way from Kansas, but Dorothy, Toto and the Cowardly Lion are set to hit the stage of Fairlie’s Community Theatre today.

The popular production of Wizard of Oz is being brought to life by a cast of Mackenzie College pupils over the coming days.

There will be a matinee show today at 12.30pm, along with evening performances tonight, Friday and Saturday, starting at 7pm.

Teacher Kathryn Lett said more than 50 pupils were involved in the production, in either the cast or crew.

They had been rehearsing since the start of the school year, she said.

On stage . . . Mackenzie College’s Maggie Holtham (Dorothy) and Nathan Clarke (both 14, Monkey General) perform a scene from The Wizard of Oz.

The stage production of the 1939 film The Wizard of Oz – starring Judy Garland – was based on the book The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900) by L. Frank Baum.

It was first adapted into a Broadway production in 1902.

The long history of the story was part of what prompted Mackenzie College to select it, Mrs Lett said.

“[We] chose it because it’s well-known . . . we wanted a bit of a classic.”

However, she pointed out it was not just a school production, after many Fairlie residents had donated their time to make props, lend items and help out with other parts of the show.

Acting up . . . Cassie Anderson (15), of Mackenzie College, will play the Scarecrow in the school’s production of The Wizard of Oz. PHOTOS: SUPPLIED

“The community has come together to assist.”

Mrs Lett highlighted one builder who had donated his time and skills to make “a small house” for the show.

“It’s a real community thing.”

Tickets are available from the Mackenzie College office.