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Wednesday, 30 October 2013 15:05

Fans should be off to see the wizard...

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One of the most beloved stories in cinema history will be on stage at the Swift Current Comp High School.

The Swift Current Comprehensive High School Fine Arts Department is presenting L. Frank Baum’s The Wizard of Oz.
While in the 1939 movie version of the movie, the Wizard of Oz said “Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.”
Fourth-year director Stefan Rumpel hopes local residents don’t take that line too literally and actually come see what’s behind the high school’s theatre curtain and so as to have big crowds at this year’s production.
He is pleased with the leads in Oz.
He says one of the reasons why they selected The Wizard of Oz was because the department knew who they had available to perform and it was obvious this play would work.
They actually auditioned the leads earlier this year in the spring. 
“Chloe Golen is Dorothy. She’s perfect for it,” explains Rumpel. “She’s the perfect combination of childlike innocence and spunk. Our gentleman playing the scarecrow (Emmanuel de Gala) makes a perfect one. He moves just like a rag doll. Curtis Pratt is the Tin Man and Dalton Lamb is the Lion.”
The Wizard of Oz is a big production. There are a lot of extras needed which were auditioned for earlier in the fall. Rumpel says they were confident they would have enough and in total 70 students are involved in either the acting, the music and the technical aspects of the show. The director is confident they will be able to not only pull it off but do it well.
“Two years ago, we had done a production of Grease and we needed a lot of people. That was very successful,” explains Rumpel. “For me personally,  I learned how to do some things like delegating better. It was just a matter of communicating with the kids what needs to be done.”
Rumpel says he allows the students to initially put their own stamp and bring their particular talents to the role, all the way from delivery of lines to the stage direction because it will allow them to perform  more naturally as well as bring a sense of ownership to the part.
However, once initial rehearsals pass, Rumpel reigns it in, slowly makes the necessary changes and ensures everyone is on the same page moving forward.
Rumpel is excited to get going as he says everyone is enthusiastic and it’s an interesting mixture and “unique personalities” of cast and crew making up this year’s production. He says it's different too because this year’s Grade 12s were his Grade 9s when he started.
“You watch as some of the veterans leave,” says Rumpel. “It’s different dynamics year-to-year. If you worry about not being able to fill roles (prior to a new school year) you can’t picture what someone who you didn’t expect, can actually do. It’s kind serendipitous sometimes too.”
The show will run Nov. 27-30. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. with the production starting at 7 p.m. There will also be a matinee Nov. 30 with doors opening at 12:30 p.m.; the show will start at 1 p.m. Tickets are $10.

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