Marshfield High School theatre students brought the classic production of The Wizard of Oz to life Thursday, Friday and Saturday Nov. 18-20. Rebounding from a COVID ridden year, the school’s theatre leadership team chose the Wizard of Oz to boost community involvement with the program.
“Community support is huge and a big part of the reason we chose the show,” said Director Greg Holtschneider. “After COVID this is a celebration getting everybody out to see a live show. And of course, it’s one that everyone loves.”
Holtschneider is no stranger to the great and powerful Oz, as he starred in the Marshfield Community Theatre production over two decades ago as Marvel/Oz himself. Directing the production took him back to a nostalgic time. However, he said this go-around was even better as Holtschneider’s son, MHS Junior Samuel Holtscheider played the part his father played all those years ago.
“I was really excited about that because as a parent, to have your kid play that same role is fun,” he added. “Just watching him do his spin on it, that’s fun. It’s cool to see him to do it his way.”
The cast was filled with young high school students in addition to third and fourth grade elementary students who filled roles as munchkins. Weeks leading up to the show were defined as pure insanity as the kids worked to polish the performances of such a large cast.
“We have a very young group this year. A lot of new people. Even on crew, a lot of our older students are sophomores so it’s just been a lot of learning and a lot of figuring out what their place is,” Holtschneider explained. “How things work and probably a lot of tears he laughed. But honestly two weeks ago it was a mess and then they suddenly just started moving forward and it’s been improving.”
According to the director, involving the elementary school students was munchkins was another large driving factor in the choice of the production. A plus side of doing this show was planing the seeds for the future of Marshfield theatre.
“This is such a classic show. I hope the community enjoyed it as much as I did,” he said.
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