Wizard of Oz Actress Adjusts Performance for Deaf Patrons

Wizard of Oz Actress Adjusts Performance for Deaf PatronsThis weekend in Fort Worth, Texas, actress Molly Franco took the stage as Dorothy in Casa Mañana's production of THE WIZARD OF OZ. When Franco learned that members of the deaf community were in the audience on Thursday evening, she sought permission to adjust the blocking of the show's iconic song "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" to incorporate American Sign Language into her performance.

"Today was probably one of the most artistically fulfilling moments I have ever had onstage." Franco posted on social media, "To be able to tell this story to members of the deaf community was a gift. I started learning ASL back in high school and being able to use the language today was a full circle moment I will never forget. So grateful Casa allowed me to sing and sign Somewhere Over the Rainbow this morning."

Originally from Texas, Miss Franco now lives and works as an actress out of New York City with her fiancée Colby Dezelick, an actor whose recent Broadway credits include ANASTASIA and MISS SAIGON. In Texas, Franco has appeared onstage as the Mistress in EVITA, Eponine in LES MISERABLES, Daisy in SIDE SHOW and Thea in SPRING AWAKENING. She's also appeared regionally in THE DIARY OF ANNE FRANK, THE ADAMS FAMILY and ROCK OF AGES.

Joining Franco's Dorothy on the famous yellow brick road are Kyle Igneczi as Scarecrow, Aaron Jay Green as Tinman, James Chandler as Lion, Sarah Gay as the Wicked Witch, Alexandra Cassens as Glinda, and Curt Denham is the Wizard. Munchkins include Ryleigh Jochens, Madeline Ayala, Patrick Bilbow, Hunter Hall, MJ Martinez, Madilyn Perry, Maddox Rogers, Addison Grace Barrington, Ivy Bilbow, Abby Kathleen Chapman and Lilah Firestone. Rounding out the cast is Hannah Argüelles, Josh Bangle, Marco Camacho, Nigel Hall, Jessica Humphrey, Morgan Haney, Grace Moore, Theodore Morris, Mark Quach, Ally Ramsey, Christian L. Scott, Zachary J. Willis, and Sarah Youngblood.

The production is directed by Joe Sturgeon, with choreography by Merrill West and musical direction by Vonda K Bowling.

THE WIZARD OF OZ continues through May 12th. Tickets and more information can be found at www.casamanana.org.



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