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Marshwood Middle School's THE WIZ JR. Begins Tomorrow


Marshwood Middle School's THE WIZ JR. Begins Tomorrow

Most people know the story of The Wizard of Oz, but Marshwood Middle School students have been learning a different version of the classic tale as they "ease on down the road" while rehearsing for their musical, The Wiz Jr.

Based on L. Frank Baum's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, The Wiz Jr. tells the story of a young teen, Dorothy, who is caught between wanting to remain a carefree child and wanting to grow-up, and like many young teens, wishes that she was anywhere but home. Dorothy gets her wish when a tornado scoops her up and plops her down in a strange land, full of odd little people called Munchkins, a very peculiar good witch and other interesting characters. Like the original story, Dorothy makes friends who have their own wishes. The new friends journey together and experience evil and goodness, and learn about themselves along the way.

Director Kristen Dalton is excited to have a cast of over 50 students, but says that a cast this size definitely has it challenges. "We have been beyond blessed to have the help of so many parents and community members to help with this huge task, along with my amazing Artistic Director Jenn Therrien, who designed a fantastic set, amazing costumes and wonderful props - Not a simple task with a large cast and multiple costume changes for most cast members.," said Dalton.

Dalton is thrilled to have been awarded a grant from The Marshwood Education Foundation to purchase stage lighting. "This will not only enhance the production value of the show but more importantly gave us the opportunity to train our middle school students on stage lighting design," said Dalton. High School Junior, Jason Glidden, not only helped design the lighting, but also taught and mentored the students on basic stage lighting, in addition to choreographing two numbers in the show.

Marshwood High School Band Director, David Graichen, helped train the middle school students in sounds design so that entire show can be run by MMS students. High school sophomore, Isadora Phipps, also returns as choreographer for the show after assisting with last year's High School Musical Jr.

The journey that Dorothy and her friends find themselves on is not all that different from the journey through Middle School. In Middle School, you are no longer the child you were in elementary school or the teenager that you will become in High School. Just like Dorothy, you are stuck in the middle, but you are not alone. Although the journey may be scary, it is much easier with good friends that are going through the exact same thing as you are. Although they may look and act completely different from you, if you look deep enough you will see that there is much more that makes you all the same, than makes you different. With entertaining dance numbers and catchy songs, The Wiz Jr. is not only a heartwarming story, but is also a fun musical for all ages.

Performances for The Wiz Jr. will be Friday March 22 at 7pm, and Saturday March 23 at 1pm and 6pm at Marshwood Middle School in Eliot, Maine. General Admission tickets will available at the door at a cost of $8 for adults and $5 for students.

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