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WCT's production of The Wizard of Oz opens Thursday

Wizard of Oz opening night

The yellow brick road leads to Sagebrush Theatre, where The Wizard of Oz will open Thursday.

The Western Canada Theatre production of the popular production runs through May 28 at Sagebrush Theatre, 1300 Ninth Ave.

The show's cast has been rehearsing together since April 18. Kirk Smith, who plays the Tinman in the show, said the last few weeks have been packed with cardio.

“I feel thinner already, because there's lots of movement and dancing and stuff in the show,” Smith said.

“So that keeps you on your toes — literally.”

Though the cast has been together a little over three weeks, WCT said creative and production crews have been working on this show for months.

The classic story has been told in countless productions, but Andrew Cownden, who plays the Cowardly Lion, said the sets and production in the WCT show are sure to amaze the audience.

He described the show as a “spectacle.”

“We've got an amazing set, through their [WCT’s] recycling program,” Cownden told Castanet Kamloops. “And we've got a revolve, we've got people who fly, we've got the kids ensemble.”

The cast of actors will be joined onstage by a group of local kids making up the youth ensemble.

For Cownden, playing the Cowardly Lion on stage is a childhood dream come true. The actor told Castanet Kamloops his elementary school performed the Wizard of Oz but he didn’t make the cut back then.

“I didn't get in it but I thought if I was to do it, I'd want to play the lion,” he explained.

“So this is a big bonus for me. Check that off the old list.”

Despite the impressive set and production effects, Cownden and Smith say the real star of the show is 15-year-old, local actor Mandisa Volo who plays Dorothy.

“Our Dorothy, Mandisa Volo is a great find, she's only 15,” Cownden said.

Smith said the high school student has the right combination of natural talent and professional skills to excel in the role.

“She sort of blows us away, and has been blowing us away right from the very first day and continues to be someone who's inspiring — as an older person to see a younger person coming up with such passion for it,” Smith said.

Tickets start at $25.

For more information on the show or to purchase tickets, click here.



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