THE WIZARD of OURZ MUSICAL LIGHTS UP THE THEATRICAL STAGE
Last weekend, the Scouts & Guides Ruthwill Auditorium came alive with the staging of the Wizard of Ourz. In this their second production, Senoj Creations’ STAGES Theatre Arts Youth Group adapted Frank L Baum’s The Wizard of OZ to a Caribbean tailored version ‘The Wizard of OURZ. The acronym coined for OURZ is, ‘an Opportunity to Urgently Restore your Zeal’.
In this spectacular production, a young girl named Dorothy, skillfully played by Louis Guinto, lived a very humble life on a farm with her aunt and uncle. During a freak storm, which ravaged the land on which she lived, she was struck on the head by a flying object and was sent into a state of unconsciousness. While being unconsciousness, she journeyed to another land ‘somewhere over the rainbow’ in search of a better life than the one she was afforded. There, she encountered a man made of straw who thought he had no brain, played by Nandi Edwards who exhibited an excellent knowledge of stage craft and acting skills, another man made of Tin who thought he had no heart and the ability to love or feel any emotion, expertly played by Alvanique Frank who displayed a combination of theatrical skills and a lion which was double cast and effortlessly played by Ryan Cutler and Maddux Owen-Vasilis. This production was a musical and all vocals were executed by the alluring voices of Charisma Jones-Chin and Stacy Porter. Their voices were accompanied by Kasem Thompson and Elson Richardson on piano.
Other characters were Glinda, the Lead Fairy, played by Morgane Zaharia, and Good Witches, played by Ella Rydon, Rhonica Connor and Brielle Letang, Mayor, Derecia Griffin, Barristers, Caleb Gumbs and Sanai Hodge, Coroner, Josiah Minot, Bad witches, Alyssa Bahadursingh, Mya Lake and Anna Lynch. Trees were played by Rhonica Connor and Charisma Jones-Chin, the Guard by Draidhan Lico and the Wizard of OURZ by Kyerlson Lewis. Then there were the delightful Munchkins played by Ariana Alvarez, Milla Alvarez, Leyla Haskins – Brodie, Christine Cutler, Jaylene Letang, Adriana Gonzalez, Sanai Hodge, Aiyah Jones, Zaynah Lake, Albrena Peters, Davia Porter, Jaivaun David, Armani Derrick, Draidhan Lico, Damien Griffin, Joseph Manasriphan and Ryan Lynch. The cast all did a phenomenal job!
Several values and virtues were highlighted – some blatant and some subliminal. However, the play’s main purpose was to use those messages to assist in restoring societal morals and as empowerment for all involved.
STAGES’ Youth Theatre Arts Group was established in September of 2016. Since then the group has been instructing weekly sessions in “The Theatre Arts” and have staged one production: ‘THE LION KING’. Their main focus is to use this particular art form to provide an opportunity for students to explore and express themselves. In today’s increasingly polarized and intolerant culture, the ability to understand others’ motives and choices is critical, hence, STAGES provides a platform for children to communicate with, and understand others and life in general.
STAGES also provides training in very practical aspects of communication so that students will be better able to put themselves into others’ shoes and relate to them. They are also trained to be more observant of their environs and have a more POSITIVE, CONFIDENT SELF IMAGE while developing the skill of being tolerant and empathetic.
STAGES also assist students in preparing to live and work in a world that is increasingly TEAM-ORIENTED rather than hierarchical. As is widely known, Drama mirrors life and it is important for students to learn that, just like ‘LIFE’, no part is small or infinitesimal but that every part we choose to play – is given to play – is played for and with us; and is extremely important in shaping who we are and the performance/s we display on life’s stage and the theatrical stage.
Appreciation is extended to all parents, businesses and supporters who worked tirelessly to make this production a success.
Kudos to Headline sponsors: Omololu International School and Zemi Beach Resort & Spa
Supporting sponsors include: Department of Youth & Culture, Paramount Pharmacy, Tropical Distributors Ltd., Millennium Sounds, Hi-Tek Signs & Designs, Nickel’s Fashions, Ciao Restaurant, Roy’s Place, Sunset Homes, The Anguillian newspaper, Orealia Kelly Primary School, The Anguilla Guides and Scouts, The Ministry of Agriculture, FLOW, DIGICEL, My Anguilla Experience, Services and Placements Ent., Serenite Voice Notes (voice training clinic).
The Production Team included:
Director / Production Manager- Collette Jones-Chin, Stage Manager – Stacey Porter, Assistant Stage Manager – Charisma Jones-Chin, PRO / Marketing – Janine Edwards and Jackie Connor, Projector Operator – Kasseem Forde, Costume Designs & Construction – Collette Jones-Chin & Wavell Ramsey, Set Design & Construction – Collette Jones-Chin & Cecil Chin, Keyboardist – Elson Richardson & Kasem Thompson, Lights & Sound – Millennium Sound, Stage Hands Hon. Cora Richardson-Hodge, Miguel Walker, Maxine Alanzo, Brenda Griffin, Annmarie Letang & Jackie Connor, Leneta Jules, Dr. Indira Singh, Jan Challenger, Students from ALHCS – Abiele & Zanick.