‘Wizard of Oz: The Deleted Scene’ comes to Ohio Theatre

‘Wizard of Oz: The Deleted Scene’ comes to Ohio Theatre

Director Isabeau Murray, left, poses with her cast and student assistant directors for the Mohican Community Theatre Kids’ fall show. “Wizard of Oz: The Deleted Scene” will be at Ohio Theatre on Sept. 9 at 7 p.m. and Sept. 10 at 2 p.m.


Everybody knows what happened along the Yellow Brick Road, or do they?

Audiences will have the opportunity to explore the untold story of “The Wizard of Oz” during the Mohican Community Theater Kids’ upcoming show. Under the Loudonville Theatre and Arts Committee, “Wizard of Oz: The Deleted Scene” is coming to Ohio Theatre for two performances on Sept. 9 and 10.

Imagine if Dorothy had a detour after leaving Munchkinland. Before taking the sung-about path to Emerald City, she is sidetracked by a farmer offering another way to the wizard — a shortcut map.

Playwright Eddie McPherson’s version leads Dorothy to meet traditional fairy-tale folk while seemingly altering the fate of the story’s key characters. Furious, Glinda the Good is determined the story — and her perceived role as a storybook hero — will be ruined if Dorothy doesn’t meet her three friends along the road. Meanwhile, the Wicked Witch of the West is delighted and hopeful this rewrite will spare her from her original watery end.

“It’s a bit of satire on ‘The Wizard of Oz,’” play director Isabeau Murray said. “It’s not your traditional story, but it’s so much fun. You get to see a different side to these characters.”

The cast of 15 third- through eighth-graders has been hard at work recreating the reimagined storyline of this parody. Performers are a mix of brand-new and returning kids with varying levels of experience.

Lead roles include Quinn Gray as Dorothy, Iva Spreng as Glinda, Annie Hall as West, Fiona Shannon as Glindalinda and Charlotte Bitner as Crow. Supporting cast includes Charlee Foley, Carter Reisinger, Taya Hall, Spencer Buirley, Lexi Oswalt, Grayson Buirley, Raelynn Lycans, Justin Vogt, Cameron Mosley and Caden Spreng.

The program gives kids an entry-level view into the stage world so they’ll be ready for high school shows, Murray said.

“This gets them to see how everything happens behind the scenes, how staging works, stage directions, costuming, props,” she said.

Since their audition in July, the group has been rehearsing every week, practicing about two hours a night, three days a week. The first week centered around reading through the whole script and learning individual lines along with enter and exit points. Next came props, then costumes. The final week cast members rehearsed with no lines, nor enter and exit cues.

“They’ve really worked hard,” Murray said. “It’s just amazing to watch what they can do and how much they can accomplish.”

Murray has been involved in theater since 2011, performing in seven high school shows before joining the cast of MCT’s first show, “Oklahoma!”, in 2015.

MCT Kids began in 2018 with the musical “Annie” after the MCT theater troupe found a big enough interest in the community. Since then its annual fall performance has centered around community and casting interest.

Murray, who has served as director and assistant director since MCT Kids’ start, has enjoyed seeing her cast blossom into their roles.

“Watching these kids learn how to be in a show is my favorite part,” Murray said. “It’s so much fun to watch them go from, ‘OK, I’m really embarrassed, this is super silly, I can’t do this,’ to ‘I’ve got this. It’s just so much fun.’”

Showtimes are Sept. 9 at 7 p.m. and Sept. 10 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $12 for adults, $10 for seniors, $5 for students, and free for children age 4 and under. All tickets are reserved seating and can be purchased online at www.theohiotheatre.com, at the box office at 419-994-3750 or at the door starting an hour before the show.

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