It took a lot of brains, heart and courage from everyone involved to stage such a big production, and after more than half a year of working hard on the Middle School’s The Wizard of Oz, it’s come to an end.
Staging a biennial Middle School musical means our current Grade 6 students will have another opportunity to perform when they’re in Grade 8, and our Grade 8s performed Annie when they were in Grade 6. With Oz now in the history books, the SMUS Review asked some of the Grade 7 actors to reflect on their one-and-only experience putting on a Middle School musical at SMUS.
“It was a lot of fun. I think it was really great to get to connect with the other people who had leads and were involved in it, because a lot of them I wouldn’t get to spend time with otherwise – that was really fun. I feel kind of sad now that it’s over because I won’t get to see all those people all the time any more. I liked playing an angry old lady yelling at people; that was really fun for me. I liked the significance of my role because the reason Dorothy was going down the yellow brick road was to go home to Aunty Em. The first night of performing, I was really scared, but I was so excited and so happy when we were done the first night and it was all okay. It was scary seeing all those people out there, but I find it actually scarier to perform like this for a small group when I can see everybody; when I look at a big audience and they’re all in the dark, I see them as an object and I can talk to them as an object. I was really glad my family came to see the show; when I came home after the last night, they had all signed a card and got me flowers. I definitely would love to try out for another musical and be a part of it in whatever way I can. It was just a really great experience. I loved last week when we were down at the McPherson. That was probably the funnest few days of the whole school year!” – by Ava (“Aunty Em”)
“I love acting, so just being able to get up on stage and act feels great. Getting on stage for the first time for a lot of people was amazing. I tried out to be Oz because I wanted to try out for a lead, but I’m not a big fan of singing so I didn’t want to be one of the three leads. I liked both my characters because they’re weird and eccentric and fake. Rehearsing was fun because although we had a brief description of the characters, Mr. Frater likes to have the characters evolve a bit. They were absolutely hilarious because I had to snort as the professor, and people would be laughing out loud in stitches. It was always really fun to be the professor because the moment you laugh everyone would laugh, and it’s great to make other people laugh… with you, not at you. I would say to anyone that would want to be in a musical, definitely try out for a lead even if you’re scared because it’s so much fun being a lead. It’s fun being the chorus and singing songs, but it was just amazing being a lead. We had so much fun and it was all really awesome.” – by Jasper (“The Wizard and Professor Marvel”)
“The whole experience of being in the musical was something so amazingly unexpected. I didn’t realize it would be so much. I just thought it was going to be this little school play and it turned out to be this big production with dancers and musicians, and there were microphones and huge crowds of people – it was amazing. I loved rehearsing with the other people. In the beginning everyone was nervous, but we just started to figure things out and we started to bond together, and by the end we are all friends and hanging out at school. I’ve been watching shows at the McPherson since I was younger, and I’ve always wondered, ‘What do they do to prepare?’ Now I’ve realized what it takes! Being on stage there was amazing. When I walked out, everyone was smiling, it made me feel so good and the adrenaline rush was amazing. I made so many good memories being part of the musical. I’m going to definitely try out for musicals at the Senior School. Even though this is the only one I get to do at the Middle School, as long as I get to do something like this again, I’m fine. This was probably one of the best things that I’ve ever done; of all my dance performances and singing, the musical really stood out for me because it was just so much fun learning these lines and portraying another person, and getting to do this with my friends and see each other’s talents.” – by Meaghan (“Glinda the Good Witch”)
“It was so great to be able to spend time with my classmates putting together such a big show and a final product. There were so many people involved in it, from the actors to the costumers to the set people, and it was such a great experience to work as a team. I played the Guard; he’s very quirky and whenever he walks in the room, he has to do a little dance. It’s a very fun and enthusiastic character. It was fun being a part of something where people were supporting you everywhere. I’ve been in many musicals before, and it’s always fun doing them. One of the funniest things that happened was in dress rehearsal during the final black-and-white scene in Kansas; Connor, who plays the Tin Man, came out half silver because he couldn’t get his makeup off. It was so funny. Everyone on stage was laughing and they couldn’t even say their lines. I thought it was such a great experience to share what you’ve worked on over the last couple months with an audience.” – by Christian (“Oz Guard”)
Check out all the photos from the Middle School’s performance of The Wizard of Oz at the SMUS Photo Gallery.
(photos by Kyle Slavin)