Perhaps one of the best known of all films, the 1939 musical fantasy The Wizard of Oz has become part of American popular culture. The Clinton Area Showboat Theatre will present its stage version of The Wizard of Oz beginning July 3rd. Kansas farm girl Dorothy Gale dreams of what life might be like “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” and soon finds out when a tornado takes her to “The Merry Old Land of Oz”.
The part of Dorothy will be played by Carly Ann Berg. In her second season aboard the Showboat, Carly has already performed in The Taffetas as Cheryl and as Winnie in Annie Get Your Gun. Robert Rice will bring the Scarecrow to life. A junior at Southeast Missouri State University, Robert is pursuing his B.A. in theatre with a dance minor. Caleb Jernigan, recently seen as Chief Sitting Bull in Annie Get Your Gun, will be the Tin Man. The role of Lion will be performed by Heather Baisley. Heather played Peggy in The Taffetas and Annie in Annie Get Your Gun. In his second season aboard the Showboat, Nathan McHenry, who was Frank Butler in Annie Get Your Gun and Jenna Haimes (Kaye in The Taffetas and Dolly in Annie Get Your Gun), will play major roles which won't be revealed in advance! Jalen Lee will be Uncle Henry, having just completed the role of Buffalo Bill.
A former 3-year intern at the Showboat, Carolyn Hopkins has returned to Clinton from Orange City, Iowa, after completing her first year as a theatre major at Northwestern College. She will play the roles of Auntie Em and Glinda. Returning for her second year as an intern, Hailey Goble is a 2014 graduate of Camanche High School. Hailey will perform as Miss Gulch and the East Witch.
The ensemble for The Wizard of Oz includes: Chris Bruhn (Clinton), Matt Espey (3rd year intern and senior at Clinton High), Clayton Melvin (freshman at Central DeWitt), Jake Hopson (freshman at Iowa State University), Alice Lind (3rd year intern and senior at Clinton High), Kate Struble (intern and freshman at Clinton High), Daxx Jayroe Wieser (musical theatre major at Oklahoma City University), and Kayla Zeimet (2nd year intern and junior at Central DeWitt).
No production of The Wizard of Oz would be complete without Munchkins. Ranging in age from 3 to 13 and from several area communities, the Munchkins include: Brittany Costello, Avery Lynn Davis, Avery Findlay, Ellanore Foltz, Hannah Guilinger, Nathan Hopkins, Paige Lower, Larissa Rose Lesniewski, Vanessa Lesniewski, Gabrielle Mooney, Kira Shaff, Addison Shaw, Marie Shaw, Abby Struble,and Kami Zeimet.
CAST's production of The Wizard of Oz is being directed by Producing Artistic Director Tommy Iafrate. Returning to the Showboat as Musical Director is Laurie Lewis. She has been the Director of Music at MacMurray College for three years. The talented creative team also includes: Choreographer Zachary D'antonio, Scenic Designer Steven P. House,
Lighting Designer Cassie Mings, Costume Designer Jenna Damberger, Stage Manager Nicole Frechette, Assistant Stage Manager Seth Kieser and Kayla McKay, Assistant Director/Dramaturg.
The Wizard of Oz opens at the Clinton Area Showboat Theatre on July 3rd at 7:30pm, followed by a reception. On July 4th there will be a special performance at 6:30pm, ending before the fireworks display. Performances continue at 7:30pm on July 5,10,11,12,17 and 19. Afternoon performances at 3pm take place on July 6,9,13,16 and 20. Tickets cost $23, $20 for seniors and $16 for students and children. The CAST box office is open 11am to 4pm on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 11am to 7pm on Thursdays through Saturdays and noon to 4pm on Sundays. Tickets may also be purchased online at www.clintonshowboat.org or by calling 563-242-6760.
The 2014 CAST season will continue with Wonderful Town (July 24-August 2) and Alice in Wonderland (August 8-17) .
There are still openings available in two theatre camps for children entering grades 1 to 8. Camp Oz is Monday through Friday, July 7 to 18 from 9am to noon, costing $85. Camp Wonderland is August 4-13th for just $75. Registration is available on line or at the box office. (Scholarships available).
Every Saturday at noon CAST’s Intern Company offers Theatre for Children. This year’s shows include: A Very Clinton Variety Show, The Beginning of Armadillos, and A Sour Study in Lemonade. Tickets are only $5 and are available at the door.