GHS cast excited to stage 'Wizard of Oz'

By Steve Smith - Staff Writer
Glastonbury - posted Fri., Mar. 1, 2013
Faith Quinn (left) as Toto and Caroline Merritt as Dorothy rehearse a scene from the Glastonbury High School Drama Club's production of 'The Wizard of Oz.' Photos by Steve Smith.
Faith Quinn (left) as Toto and Caroline Merritt as Dorothy rehearse a scene from the Glastonbury High School Drama Club's production of 'The Wizard of Oz.' Photos by Steve Smith.

After developing a great rapport during rehearsals, about the only thing the cast members of the Glastonbury High School Drama Club's production of “The Wizard of Oz” disagree on is whose role is the most fun to play.

Sophomore Ben Feldman plays the Cowardly Lion, and said the production is similar to the movie classic, but GHS has added some of its own flair. The camaraderie of the lead roles, he said, also mirrors that of their characters.

“For the most part it's like the movie,” he said. “We've all developed really good chemistry over rehearsals, and now it's really fun to do all of the jokes and classic bits. During auditions, I watched the lion's scenes over and over again to try to perfect his voice and mannerisms.”

“We have a really good group vibe,” said sophomore David Brewer, who plays the Scarecrow, about the cast's chemistry.

Brewer said the physical comedy makes the straw-stuffed clown man fun to portray. “I fall over a lot, so that's a lot of fun,” he said. “I get to tumble all over the stage. There's that physical comedy, and then all of these little jokes throughout the show.”

“She is so much fun to play,” said sophomore Claire Candelori, of the Wicked Witch of the West. “Sometimes she can be really funny, and other times she can be scary. It depends on the kind of mood that she's in. Most of the time she likes to get the audience's reaction to things – so sometimes she'll hold a pause just to get a laugh, or to show people that she really is mean. She's really dramatic. When she's on stage, you know she's on stage.”

Junior Caroline Merritt calls playing Dorothy a “dream role.”

“I've been watching ‘Wizard of Oz’ since I was 2,” she said, adding that it feels like “serendipity” that she gets to play the lead.

“Just to get the part of Dorothy was really great,” she said. “I'm really honored. I like singing 'Over the Rainbow.' It's my favorite part, because I get to take over the stage and do what I want to, so that's exciting.”

Peter Fan said playing the Tin Man is tricky because he has to be stiff, but show emotion. “You have to be more robotic about it,” he said. “One of the main challenges is I have to dance, but still act like the Tin Man, so you have to not use too many 'curved' movements.”

They all agree that audiences will enjoy the show. “I think it's really funny and a really good show for families to see,” Merritt said.
“I hope they really see the fun that we're having,” Feldman said, “and our take on this classic.”

“All the songs are really fun, and the theme is mostly happy and upbeat, but there are some dark scenes, too, so there will be some good contrast, and I think people will like that,” Fan said.

Brewer said the technology used in the show will add another dimension and add to the audience's thrills. “There are pyrotechnics and smoke machines, and the set is really cool,” he said.

Show dates are March 8, 9, 15 and 16 at 7 p.m., and March 10 at 2 p.m., at the GHS auditorium. For more information, call 860-652-7200, ext. 1032.


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