Everyone knows the story of Dorothy Gale and her little dog, Toto, and how they were sucked up into a tornado and transported to the wonderful Land of Oz. This year at East Forsyth, the Talon Theatrical Company performed the Wizard of Oz. Through the dates of April 21st to April 24th, the company transported their audience to Oz. It was the second time that they performed the play; the first was 10 years ago in 2006.
This being Ms. Tiffany Burgess’s second time directing the play, she stated, “I had a lot more knowledge than I had last time I directed Oz.” When asked if this play changed her view on how to direct a high school play Ms. Burgess said, “You learn something new with every play you put on, but due to the sheer size of this production, time was a large obstacle and it taught me that you must optimize rehearsal time to make the play successful. It really helped me improve my time management skills.” After it was all said and done, Burgess said her favorite scene turned out to be the witch’s melting scene.
Throughout the preparation of the play the actors worked very hard creating the persona of each of their characters. One of the cast members who had very big shoes to fill was Shayne Maggard (‘18) who played Dorothy. Between having to run around in ruby red slippers, to chasing Toto across stage, Maggard knew she wouldn’t have an easy ride, but Maggard did not disappoint. She stepped up to the challenge of playing the part made famous by Judy Garland. When asked what it was like to play this iconic character Maggard said, “I’ve wanted to play the part ever since I was a little girl. When I found out I received the part I was ecstatic! I was overwhelmed at first, I even doubted myself, but the more I rehearsed I began to completely embrace the character. It was like a dream, I loved it and won’t ever forget this astounding experience.”
One of the most important people in the play that most might not think about is the stage manager. For this year’s spring musical the responsibility was given to Eliese Ashline (‘16). During each show, Ashline must call cues and practically run the show, but her work started way before this. It goes back all the way to auditions. Being stage manager, it is Ashline’s job to keep an organized prompt book with all lines, sound and lighting cues, director notes, and scene changes inside. Keeping this book organized is a huge responsibility. She is also the “top dog” when it comes to anything to do with the play. Any questions come to her first. Ashline talked about her first time calling a show, when she said, “It was absolutely terrifying. Knowing that if I made the wrong call the entire scene could’ve been thrown off balance. Whether it’s lights or sound effects or even curtain, a lot goes into a show that people might not realize, but without those elements the show couldn’t happen.”
After the curtains were closed, the crowd had fallen in love with the characters, but one in particular stood out. The Scarecrow was played by Caleb Kirk (‘16). It was surprisingly his first time on stage, not that anyone could tell. Kirk said, “I enjoyed playing the scarecrow because I was able to make him very physical with his body movements. I practiced those movements so much that even outside of rehearsals I was walking like him, falling all over the place. I also loved being able to sing and dance around on stage.”
Overall the cast and crew felt very happy with the work they completed on stage and know that they will never forget the memories they made while playing around in Kansas, Munchkin Land, the Emerald City, the Dark Forest, and the Wicked Witch’s Castle.