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Nov. 22, 2010
MARYVILLE, Mo. - When a professional troupe of actors arrives at Northwest Missouri State University for their Nov. 29 performance of "The Wizard of Oz," 12 local children will be ready and anxious to take the stage with them.
"They've had less than a month to work on it, but they have it," said Whitney Wallace, a sophomore elementary education major from Maryville, who is teaching songs and dance steps to the children. Wallace also owns Miss Whitney's Elite School of Dance in Maryville.
The 12 children were selected to appear in the production from a pool of 39 kids who auditioned Nov. 5 at Northwest. They will portray munchkins and winkies in the show in addition to singing well-known songs such as "Ding Dong the Witch is Dead," "The Lullaby League" and "The Lollipop Guild."
The local cast members are Joseph Suchan, Brittany Burns, Kylee Dougan, Felicia Sheil, Tara Hull, Alicia Smith, Rachel Sporleader, Ben Smith, Skylar Bundridge, Sabrina Olsen, Kaia Teale and Samantha Mendoza.
Vanessa Parsons, who is a music instructor at Northwest's Horace Mann Laboratory School and Early Care and Education Laboratory Center and a director of the Maryville Young Players s ummer musical theater workshop, is assisting Wallace.
Since audition night, the children have followed a strict two-hour rehearsal schedule each Friday and Saturday night. Wallace and Parsons are teaching the steps and music to the kids with help of video and audio recordings provided by the production company.
"It's going to be an awesome show," Wallace said. "The production company has been great to work with. We couldn't have asked for a better production company to work with. The kids' success has been a top priority of the company and that's really great to see."
Bundridge, a fourth grader at Eugene Field Elementary in Maryville, she's only watched "The Wizard of Oz" a couple times but thought it would be a good experience to participate in the musical.
"I like it and it's fun," Bundridge said. "The munchkins are pretty crazy and fun."
The children will have had a total of just six rehearsals before the curtain rises Monday, Nov. 29, but Wallace said the kids are ready.
"They've worked really hard," she said. "It's been quite a blessing and a great experience to have such talented kids. The kids have worked super hard. When we started they didn't know each other and now they're all like family."
The show will begin at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 29, in the Ron Houston Center for the Performing Arts. Tickets are $25 for adult orchestra, $23 for adult balcony, $15 for student orchestra and $13 for student balcony. Northwest student tickets are $10 for orchestra and $8 for balcony.
Tickets can be purchased online or by phone at 660.562.1212. Tickets may also be purchased at the Student Services Desk, located on the first floor of the Administration Building, between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Mark Hornickel, Media Relations Specialist
firstname.lastname@example.org | 660.562.1704 | Fax: 660.562.1900
Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468