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AuSable Valley Students to bring Oz to the school stage

The Tin Man (Noah Lawrence), Dorothy (Amanda Hamilton) and Toto.

The Tin Man (Noah Lawrence), Dorothy (Amanda Hamilton) and Toto. Photo by Katherine Clark.

— The play will be packed full of airborne stunts and pyrotechnics and lights Collier said.

The students have working with Flight by Foy, a Las Vegas based production company that manufactures flying harnesses and equipment to allow the actors to “fly” starting March 2. The Flight by Foy crew provides actors with the equipment and training to develop flying effects for the show. Flight by Flow brings flight to actors on broadway as well as working with the small schools for plays such as “Fiddler on the Roof,” “Peter Pan,” and the “Wizard of Oz.”

“The (Flight of Foy) crew began practicing with our students this week, working on safety, landing and how to coordinate the routines,” White said.

A 12-piece orchestra will also accompany the actors as they move from Kansas to Oz and back again. The members of the orchestra are faculty members of the school and will be led by Karen Becker.

Music teacher Collier said most of the lead cast have been working with him and White since elementary school. Some of the students were inspired to further their studies in college. Senior Sebastion Pray, plans on studying Art Education and Theater next year at an undecided university.

“I feel acting is the most important form of characterization and you can express so much through theatrics,” Pray said.

The challenge of portraying the cowardly lion was one Pray took full force, adapting the character to him instead of the other way around.

“I didn’t want to copy the character everyone has seen over and over again,” Pray said.” So I studied the character and adapted the character to fit myself, he won’t be so galumphy as we all know him, instead I portray him as more cowardly and shy.”

The students have been working since the beginning of January, practicing singing, dancing, and their dialogue Collier said. Parent volunteer and mother of the two students actors, Michelle Wesley said the students have worked very hard over the last few months and the end result will be mind blowing.

“This might blow some people away when they see how much theses kids have put into this play and how hard they worked,” Wesley said. “It should be a really great show.”

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