‘Somewhere over the rainbow’

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Scarecrow, Tin Man, and Dorothy. played by Tyler Malmberg, Jake Fedorowski, and Jayna Davis respectively, look toward the yellow brick road to continue their adventure. (Gazette photo by Avery Cropp)

Residents can follow the yellow brick road to Stillwater Area High School’s auditorium this weekend to see area students perform their fall production, “Wizard of Oz,” directed by Haeri Tollefson.

“We chose it (The Wizard of Oz) because we had a lot of talented kids this year. We had sophomores that really shined as ninth graders last year and there’s lots of talented kids with many options for our principle roles. It’s also a show that everyone want to go to and be in and enjoy because of the name recognition.”

The cast includes 60 actors, including the munchkins, and spans the grades from third through twelfth. Actors with main roles in the play include Jayna Davis as Dorothy, Tyler Malmberg as Scarecrow, Jake Fedorowski as Tin Man, Joe Price as The Cowardly Lion, Andrea Rustad as Glinda, and Grace Baldwin as The Wicked Witch of The West.

“The best part is always having the returning students that we’ve worked with previously and the new people and elementary munchkins have been great to get to know and to work with,” Tollefson said. “We had to use elementary students for the munchkins because there was no one that was quite short enough at the High School. It’s been a great experience to work with that many different ages and with that many people.”

The students say that it’s been really fun to work on this production with Tollefson and the rest of the cast. Fedorowski,a senior, said that this cast really gelled together from the start and everyone is really good friends which makes it easy to work together.

“It’s been really fun,” said Sophomore Emily Heidick who plays Auntie Em and an Ozian. “It’s been so great to get to know all the other cast members better.”
Overall the play is high energy, familiar and fun but it comes with it’s challenges as well according to Davis, Rustad and Fedorowski.

Davis and Rustad are playing roles that they didn’t expect to play but they are very excited about the opportunity.

“This is the first lead role in a play that I’ve had. It’s really exciting and fun for me,” Rustad said. “It’s different from the other musicals I’ve been in and the sets and costumes are something that the crew’s done a great job on.”

“It’s been a lot of work,” Davis said. “But you can’t even really call it work because it is so much fun.”

“In every show I’ve been in I’ve always played a person, but this time I’m playing the Tin Man and not a person so my movement on stage is very limited but very robotic and that’s been a challenge but also really fun,” Fedorowski said.

When it comes to opening night though all the hard work will be worth it, and though some of the students admitted to being a little nervous they’re excited to put on a great show.

“For me the minute before the show starts is the best part. You’re waiting backstage the energy is so high and walking out on stage is just such a rush,” Davis said.
The show runs on Friday Nov. 1 through Sunday Nov. 3. There are two 7 p.m. shows on Friday and Saturday and a Sunday matinee at 2 p.m. Tickets cost $6 for students/seniors and $9 for adults. Call the ticket hotline at 651-351-8109 for further details.

Contact Avery Cropp at avery.cropp@ecm-inc.com

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