The stage is back with yet another creative recreation of one of the most popular musicals of all time: “The Wizard of Oz.” Given that thesuccess of student interpretations of previous productions, like “Get Smart” and “The Sound of Music,” are thanks to the time and dedication devoted to building the production, the same strenuous effort was invested into this year’s play.
Rehearsals took place every Tuesday and Thursday after school, along with Saturday practices until as late as 5 pm. For the past few months, the cast, backstage crew, and pit orchestra members were able to not only master their individual contributions to the musical, but also learn to collaborate and communicate with each other. Needless to say, because the members of the production team spend hours together, they could not avoid building stronger bonds and socializing with each other on a personal level.
“I feel like the whole production has been a great experience,” said Angela Ahn (10), a cast member playing Gloria the munchkin. “I really enjoy interacting with the upperclassmen and underclassmen, and we get closer every time we meet, which makes me look forward to every rehearsal.”
As cast members waited for their turns during the rehearsal, they actively socialize and practice backstage, forming new relationships by talking to the other members of the production, like those in the pit orchestra or the backstage crew. Although every member has their individual responsibilities to learn lines or play their instrumental solo, they are also very reliant upon each other for both substantial and moral support.
“We perform on Nov. 7-10 in front of audiences consisted of different age groups that change every day,” said Eddie Ko (11), a cast member playing the Cowardly Lion. “I hope that when we perform, the audience can temporarily transport out of their everyday lives and smile, laugh, or leave feeling better than they did before.”
In order to impress the audience, the members must also go through arduous and demanding practices and training that require significant contributionsfrom each individual. For example, Ashley Lee (12) in the backstage crew stated that she became more tolerant and lenient throughout the preparation process because of the pressuring amount of work behind the scenes–like changing backdrops and curtains during scene changes–that is dedicated to accurately coordinate with the rest of the crew.
“Mistakes are more conspicuous in music than any other parts of the play, and this makes me learn how to be patient when we have to repeat practicing a few pieces due to mistakes made by one or two people,” said Sarah Jung (11), a violinist in the pit orchestra. She hopes that she can perform in front a large audience because, this time, SIS is not presenting an ordinary play. What makes “The Wizard of Oz” unique from all the previous plays is that it is created by the hard work and effective collaboration between several groups, such as the pit orchestra, choir, and even elementary school students.