Leland & Gray Players to present ‘The Wizard of Oz’

TOWNSHEND — The Leland and Gray Players open their 19th season with the musical “The Wizard of Oz,” adapted for the stage by the Royal Shakespeare Company from the original MGM film.

The original story is by L. Frank Baum, with music by Harold Arlen and Yip Harburg.

A perennial family favorite, “The Wizard of Oz” tells of a quest for a better life over the rainbow; it is a testimony to the value of perseverance - and of thoughtfulness, courage, and compassion.

Scholars also have argued the story is rife with political commentary and satire about the socioeconomic conditions prevailing at the turn of the 20th century.

In any case, the production promises to entertain with all the favorite characters and musical numbers from the ever-loved film.

The cast includes Leland & Gray students Alexa Litchfield as Dorothy; Madison Cannella as the Wicked Witch of the West; Nathaniel van Osdol as the Scarecrow; Tino Benson as the Tin Woodman; Jesse Cannella as the Cowardly Lion; Gabrel Vanni-Phillips as the Wizard; Jasmine Domenick as Glinda; Lela Winot and Nic Tolbert as Toto; Fairen Stark and Adam Culver as guards; and Vinnie Ferrizzi and Nastia Stevens as Uncle Henry and Auntie Em, respectively.

Sarah Anderson, Skye Richardson, Veronica Stevens, Zoie Brooks, Fairen Stark, Rebekah Winot, and Madison Chase are the girls' chorus; Sam Thibault and Julia Barton are Nikko and Sidekick; and Kenny Cashman is Winkie.

Rounding out the cast as Munchkins, Winkies, Monkeys, and others are elementary school players from throughout the district and several homeschooled students:

Lillie Beshay, Dea Burrow, Christian Cannella, Madison Chase, Madison Coolbeth, Annika Crego, Mickaley Cutts, Weston Cutts, Marina Dion, Marley Felker, Joshua Ferrizzi, Avarie Fitzpatrick, Savannah Fitzpatrick, Aubrey Goodband, Theo Kelloway, Lily Litchfield, Isabella Lynch, Isabel McCarthy, Mary McDonald, Ainsley Meyer, Kate Petty, Adler Pickering, Addy Redden, Willa Redden, Camden Robinson, Raena Sanderson, Delano Schmidt, Fiona Scott, Stephen Shine, Catherine Shine, Elsa Skarsten, Sylvia Stark, Izzy Jarvis Stores, Evelyn Swim, Hope Thibault, Andrew Tolbert, Anna van Osdol, Jasmine Wilkins, Grace Wright, and Ruth Wright.

Jesse Cannella is scene and costume designer. Tino Benson is costume and graphic designer. Sage Hall and Grant Cullen run sound. Nastia Stevens, Kenny Cashman, Anna-Cate Harrison and Trey Crego run lights.

Running crew captain is Olivia Reilly with Rachel Spence, Emily Thibault, Emily Stockwell, Haley Buffam, Sam Harrison, and Natalie Cullen as crew.

Dale Stevens is tech director. Caroline Rex-Waller is costumier. Ron Kelley is music director. Ann Landenberger is director.

As well, many parents have pitched in with their time and talent.

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