Eight weeks of practice involving more than 70 people from in and around Schoharie County will culminate in three performances this weekend when the Theater Project of Schoharie County presents “The Wizard of Oz.”
The theater group, started in 2006, typically offers up to four productions each year, said Lisa Ovitt, president of its board of directors.
This production marks the biggest and most expensive to date, topping a budget of $10,000 between the cast and crew and paying for royalties to reproduce the popular story about Dorothy’s trip from Kansas to the wonderful world of Oz.
‘The Wizard of Oz’
WHO: The Theater Project of Schoharie County
WHERE: Golding Middle School Auditorium, 193 Golding Drive, Cobleskill
WHEN: 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday
COST: Adults $10, students and seniors $7, children under 12 $5.
MORE INFO: www.theaterproject.org
It’s not just somebody’s “take” on the Wizard of Oz, but instead a close reproduction of the popular movie that runs on television each holiday season.
Supported by the New York State Council on the Arts, the production has drawn participation from local youths who will play the part of Munchkins and flying monkeys to adults playing good and bad witches, the Cowardly Lion, the Tin Man and the Scarecrow.
The Theater Project of Schoharie County’s “Wizard of Oz” follows “The Fantastics” and “Twelve Angry Men” earlier in the year. They offered “Paint Your Wagon,” “To Kill a Mockingbird” and “Harvey” in 2011, and the show went on despite damage from Tropical Storm Irene, Ovitt said.
She said she was hesitant before sending out audition announcements last year, but the Theater Project still drew plenty of participation.
“People long for normalcy,” she said.
Ovitt attended a dress rehearsal Tuesday and said she was taken back by the quality of the costumes, all of which were made locally.
Production director Cherie Stevens is no stranger to theater — she directed student theater productions for three decades at SUNY Cobleskill. Typically, productions can be put together in just six weeks, but Stevens said she planned for eight weeks because “The Wizard of Oz” has so many youngsters involved.
“It’s a tremendous amount of work, but you know what, once the love of theater is in your soul, it’s always in your soul,” she said.