Off to see the Wizard

PGTC to present ‘ Wizard of Oz’ next week

The Republican Herald - This Weekend - - Front Page - BY DANIEL P. PROSICK COPY EDI­TOR Con­tact the writer: dprosick@re­pub­li­can­her­ald.com; 570628- 6002

Toto, I have a feel­ing we’re not in Pottsville any­more.

The Pottsville Gym­nas­tics& Theatri­cal Cen­ter Inc. will present its Young Per­form­ers Edi­tion of “The Wizard of Oz” at 7 p.m. March 1 and 2 and 3 and 7 p.m. March 3 and 4 at United Pres­by­te­rian Church Hall, 214 Ma­han­tongo St., Pottsville. The en­trance is lo­cated on Third Street off Ma­han­tongo.

Tick­ets are $ 15 and can be pur­chased at PGTC, by email­ing pottsvil­legtcthe­ater@gmail.com or at the door. It is rec­om­mended they be pur­chased in ad­vance to en­sure seat­ing, ac­cord­ing to SandyKost- Sterner, pro­ducer of youth the­ater pro­grams at PGTC.

The mu­si­cal is based on the 1900 book “The Won­der­ful Wizard of Oz” by L. Frank Baum, ac­cord­ing to Kost- Sterner. Like the book and the sub­se­quent film based on it, the book tells the tale of Dorothy, a young farm girl from Kansas who is taken by a tor­nado to Oz, where she seeks to find the Wizard of Oz, who has the power to send her home. Dur­ing her quest, she meets with a Scare­crow, a Tin Woods­man and a Cowardly Lion, who aid her in find­ing the Wizard.

“‘ The Wizard of Oz’ is a clas­sic, very­well- known showand is en­joy­able for au­di­ences of all ages. There is a say­ing with this show that re­ally res­onates. It is ‘ It’s not where you go, it’s who you meet along the­way.’ The young­sters in this show— many who had never done any type of the­ater in the past— be­gan a jour­ney two months ago of learn­ing to work to­gether as a team,” Kost- Sterner said.

She said the young­sters have met newfriends, have learned the value of hard work and ded­i­ca­tion and are very ex­cited to share the showwith ev­ery­one.

“I be­lieve the au­di­ences will be thor­oughly en­ter­tained and im­pressed! I’m so proud of what they have all ac­com­plished and I hope they have won­der­ful mem­o­ries of the peo­ple they have met along the­way. I’m re­ally go­ing to miss them all and hope to see them in a fu­ture Pottsville GTC pro­duc­tion,” she said.

Be­cause of the large num­ber of per­form­ers, about 82, rang­ing from kind erg art ne rs to eighth-graders, casts will be bro­ken into two groups: the blue cast and the gold cast, Kost- Sterner said.

Play­ing the lead role of Dorothy is Lau­ren Ben­ny­hoff in the blue cast and Kayla Gherghel in the gold cast; as Scare­crow, Eden Wanzie and Sophia Wit­tig; Tin man, Hunter Hengeveld and Paige Deitrich; Cowardly Lion, Ai­dan Grace and Koreena Bit­tner; and Wicked Witch, Hal­lie Yordy and Ella Pu­ta­lavage. Kost- Sterner also said her dogs, Aly and Shawny, will be repris­ing the role of Toto.

The pro­duc­tion staff in­cludesKost- Sterner as pro­ducer and di­rec­tor; Bruce Mar­i­anelli as mu­sic di­rec­tor; Cather­ine Nadeau as chore­og­ra­pher; and Alexa Gau­vreau and Sarah Halupa as ju­nior as­sis­tants.

Kost- Sterner said that although PGTC has had two shows at the venue, it will be the first mu­si­cal they’ll be putting on there.

“The stage— which is 22 feet by 23 feet— is very spa­cious and there are sev­eral dress­ing rooms, an area for a back­stage and sev­eral re­strooms for au­di­ence mem­bers,” she said. “The church hall is also ideal for re­hearsals as it of­fers a large, bright re­hearsal space aswell as ad­di­tional rooms that the pi­anist and mu­sic di­rec­tor can do mu­si­cal re­hearsals while other staff mem­bers are us­ing the re­hearsal area or ac­tual stage. We are able to make re­ally great use of the re­hearsal time.”

For­more in­for­ma­tion about PGTC’s per­for­mance of “The Wizard of Oz,” or any up­com­ing camp, au­di­tion or event, email pottsvil­legtcthe­ater@gmail.com of find Pottsville GTC The­ater Pro­gram on Face­book.

JACQUE­LINE DORMER / STAFF PHO­TOG­RA­PHER

Mem­bers of the cast of The Pottsville Gym­nas­tics & Theatri­cal Cen­ter Inc.’ s pro­duc­tion of “The Wizard of Oz” are, from left, Paige Deatrich, 13, of Pottsville, as the Tin Man; Lau­ren Ben­ny­hoff, 13, of Ash­land, as Dorothy, hold­ing Aly as Toto; Koreena...

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