Lakota West Return To The Stage: OZ

Lakota+West+Return+To+The+Stage%3A+OZ

Mary Mahoney

Maddie Arno

Back from the break, the Lakota West Theatre had their return to the stage this October after a canceled spring musical and 6 months off completely. They started off their “season” with 2 plays: Squad Goals and Oz. I was fortunate enough to snag a ticket to see Oz.

Oz, written by Don Zolidis, is a story about a girl named Beth, played by Maddy Beare Jones, who is mourning the death of her sister and is taken on a journey through a world that suspiciously resembles the movie The Wizard of Oz. But when she finds the yellow brick road has been sold to investors, among other things, she realizes she isn’t in Kansas anymore. Along the way, she meets a cowardly lion, played by Jordyn Hill, a scarecrow, played by Ben Stafford, and a tin man, played by Ethan Kuchta. The play is both hilarious and heart-wrenching as Beth experiences grief and perseverance on the “road” to acceptance. I was pleasantly surprised about the quality of the performance considering their rush to produce it. Auditions for the show were in late September and the cast list came out on October 2nd. Even though they had a month to prepare, the acting, props, and overall look of the show exceeded my expectations.

 The show was filled with clever jokes and some slapstick comedy. While there was some great comic relief, that wasn’t the only reason this show was greatly loved. Behind the funny comments lies a message revealed at the end. The journey Beth went on was the journey to accepting her sister’s death. Each character represented an emotion Beth was having trouble dealing with. The Wicked Witch embodied Beth’s anger at the unfairness of Jill’s death. The Cowardly Lion symbolized Beth’s fear, and how her sister’s death could make her fear the world around her. The Scarecrow represented how someone may want to remain ignorant to their emotions after losing someone, rather than confronting those feelings head-on. The Tin Man symbolized how Beth may have wanted to feel nothing at all, and become numb rather than allowing herself to feel grief. The actors conveyed their character’s emotions very well. They were able to bring to light the theme of the play and Maddy left the crowd teary-eyed with her ending monologue. 

Overall, the performance was outstanding. The theatre has once again put together an extraordinary show. The cast and production team deserved every ounce of congratulations they got. Check out the Lakota West Theatre’s production of Fiddler on the Roof in December and Newsies in March.

 

Cast:

Maddy Beare Jones -Beth

Emma King -Mother/Glinda

Hailey Smith -Aunt Carol/Witch

Desstiny Jackson -Uncle Jason/Wizard

Jerrica Perdue -The Guide/Jill

Lydia Perry -Hair

Katie Horton -Wardrobe

Bailey Margrave -Props

Anna Tuell -Quix

Kaylee Fickle -Quax

Brooke Blackburn -Munchkin Mayor/Guard

Jordyn Hill -Lion

Ben Stafford -Scarecrow

Ethan Kuchta -Tin Man