Lions and Tigers and ... Munchkins

High school students and third graders join forces to put on "The Wizard of Oz."

From April 14-17, students from Tewksbury Memorial High School, the North Street School and the Trahan will put on the musical “The Wizard of Oz.”

"The Wizard of Oz is one of, if not the biggest, show we have put on to date," said Chris Mulligan, drama co-director at the Tewksbury Memorial High School. "There are approximately 22 set changes throughout the duration of the production."

According to Mulligan, auditions were held in mid-February, and “once the casting decisions were made, we began rehearsing during the first week in March.”

Each year, Tewksbury High puts on a fall play and a spring musical. Drama co-director David Moffat chose "The Wizard of Oz" this year.

According to Mulligan, the TMHS Players are composed of students from all classes, from freshmen to seniors. Mulligan said that most of the students in the Drama Club perform in both the fall play and the spring musical. There are also students who act as the crew. Mulligan said that these students do not act in the play, but help build and paint sets, and, most importantly, switch out the sets in between acts and scenes during the play.

“We are very creative in how we use our space,” said Mulligan. “Mr. Moffat builds our sets himself, often tearing down sets from previous productions and recreating them into something we need for the current production. This particular production is quite ambitious because of the numerous set changes (from Dorothy's farm to Munchkin Land to the Enchanted Forest to the Emerald City, etc.). During the last week or so of rehearsal, we will be staying well into the evening to get everything just right.”

The cast includes:

  • Alyssa Guida (playing Dorothy)
  • Julia Arey (playing the Wicked Witch)
  • Elizabeth Marchand (playing Glinda, the good witch)
  • Brian Morley (playing the Scarecrow)
  • Vincenzo Barinelli (playing the Tin Man)
  • Renan Fontes (playing Cowardly Lion)
  • Matthew Lewis (playing the Wizard of Oz)
  • Katie Mulno (playing Auntie Em) 
  • Shannon Crowley (playing Uncle Henry)

In addition to the cast of high school students, approximately 40 third graders from the North Street and Trahan Schools will be playing the roles of the Munchkins. A two-hour rehearsal is held every Wednesday night with the Munchkins, in addition to the daily three-hour rehearsals performed with just the high school students.  

According to Mulligan, “’The Wizard of Oz’ will be performed at the TMHS Auditorium on Thursday, April 14 at 7 p.m., Friday, April 15 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., Saturday, April 16 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., and Sunday, April 17 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $10 for general admission, with a discounted rate of $5 for senior citizens and children under 12 years of age.”


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