Youth Theater's 'Wizard of Oz' Opens This Week in Farmington Hills
Young actors say they're excited about the play, which combines parts of the movie and stage play.
The Farmington Hills Youth Theatre takes the yellow brick road this weekend, with six performances of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz on the Costick Center stage.
This version of the popular and timeless children’s story brings all the famous characters to life, with 170 children performing in two casts. The production incorporates elements of the iconic movie, as well as the Broadway musical version, The Wiz.
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For 15-year-old West Bloomfield resident Meredith Mackey, playing the role of "Dorothy", who is blown from her home in Kansas to the Land of Oz, is a dream come true. Mackey said she has wanted her whole life to play the character.
"Dorothy is really the one who is inspiring all the other characters," she said. "She's the one who knows the Scarecrow has a brain, the Tin Man has a heart, and the Lion really does have courage, they just need to find a way to get it out of themselves, by following their dreams. That's what the show is really all about."
Caleb Touchstone, 16, of Farmington Hills, plays the "Cowardly Lion", a character he says "really adds to the show. I think he gains courage in the end, and he's grateful to meet these new people."
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is 11-year-old Drewe Raimi's first experience with Sky's the Limit, which is producing the show for the city's youth theater program. The Birmingham resident plays "Scarecrow" – a role that may be tougher than it looks.
"It's a hard character to play, because I'm always tripping around everywhere, and I don't have a brain, so I kind of don't know what's going on," she said. Eventually, of course, the Scarecrow realizes he has a brain, and the Tin Man, played by Rachel Daly, 13, of Novi, finds a heart.
"At the beginning of the show, he's really lonely, because he doesn't have a heart," Daly said, "but when he meets Dorothy, the Lion and the Scarecrow, he realizes he's had one all along."
Performances of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz are slated April 26 and 27 at 7 p.m., and April 28 and 29 at 1 p.m. and 5 p.m. Tickets to all performances are $10; children 3 and under are free.
You can purchase tickets online at https://recreg.fhgov.com or by calling 1-877-785-7763. Tickets also be available at the door.
Created nine years ago by the city's Cultural Arts Division, with Sky’s the Limit Productions, the Farmington Hills Youth Theatre has included thousands of children in its performances and audiences. The Cultural Arts Division also offers a variety of theater camps throughout the summer for both beginners and advanced actors at the Players Barn Theatre in Farmington Hills. For more information, call the Cultural Arts Division at 248-473-1859.