Belmont brings beloved classic to the stage in Saanich

Wizard of Oz demands balancing expectations with fresh approach

(From left) Alycia MacIlroy

It may be true there’s no place like home, but Belmont secondary drama students are taking over a foreign stage for their production of The Wizard of Oz.

Belmont’s Prometheus Players are putting on a production of the family favourite made famous by the 1939 film staring Judy Garland. The students are bringing their own take to the iconic classic at Spectrum community school starting April 3.

“It’s been an honour getting to know these iconic characters and putting our own twists on them, bringing them to life yet again,” said Grade 12 actor Alycia MacIlory, who stars as Dorothy.

One of the greatest challenges for teacher/director Melissa Young and the students has been adapting such a colourful and special effects-heavy production to the stage and keeping it recognizable for audiences so familiar with the movie.

“People grow up watching this film. Adults come up to me and they’re just so excited that we’re doing this show,” Young said. “I think we’ve done our best to walk that line between meeting that expectation, but also adding in our own creative twist.”

Touches such as turning the tornado into a dance and projecting the yellow brick road using lighting help to bring the story to the stage. Some fire and snow effects can also be expected.

Helping the cause is a donated professional set from Carousel Theatre for Young People in Vancouver. The set used by the company for a production of the play last Christmas has been set up at Spectrum by Belmont theatre students mentored by professionals.

A small army of students is working behind the scenes to bring the production to life. Belmont students do nearly all aspects of production, including lighting, stage direction, props, makeup, costumes and set creation.

Some of the actors grew up watching the movie. Since starting rehearsals, they’ve been looking into L. Frank Baum’s original novel, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, and other stage adaptations.

“We all knew we wanted to be a part of it. We were all very excited,” MacIlroy said.

“When I was really little, I went and saw it so many times when it was in replayed in the theatres,” Scarecrow actor Nik Neral said. “I would stand up on the seat and spoil it for everyone, saying ‘The twist is coming.’”

Added Kevin Lockwood, who plays the Tin Man: “It’s nice being able to do a classic like this.”

The Wizard of Oz plays April 3, 4 and 5 at 7 p.m. and on April 5 at 2 p.m. Tickets ($12.50 for adults, $10.50 for students and seniors) can be purchased in advance at the Belmont office or by calling the school at 250-478-5501.

kwells@goldstreamgazette.com

Just Posted

National Indigenous Peoples Day celebrations draw hundreds

Premier John Horgan joins ceremony at Royal Roads University

Police call off search for missing kayaker in East Sooke

The investigation is now considered a missing person case

Large Oak Bay tree dies after possible poisoning

Police and district investigate after large chestnut tree’s rapid decline

Emergency crews aid injured man at Thetis Lake Park

Crews transport patient back to main beach by boat

Dead geese near Esquimalt Lagoon draws ire of resident

City says ‘several’ geese struck by vehicles recently

VIDEO: B.C.’s ‘unicycle cowboy’ aspires to be rancher one day

Burklan Johnson has only ridden a horse once, but this unicyclist has big plans to become a cowboy.

Rescued Oregon family simply unprepared for adventure, RCMP say

Agencies now helping the group of four get to their destination in Alaska

Canucks release 2018-19 season schedule

Vancouver to face Calgary Flames on Wednesday, Oct. 3, for home opener

VIDEO: Luxury Home and Design Show opens with Italian flare

Event set to run Friday to Sunday at BC Place in Vancouver

Small new charge on BC Hydro bills goes toward new crisis fund

The new fund aims to help customers who find themselves in financial emergencies

UPDATED: Crown appeals B.C. polygamous leader’s acquittal in child bride case

James Oler had been charged with taking his underage daughter to the U.S. to marry her off

Fake cops ‘arrest’ woman, steal $6,000 in latest CRA scam

Vancouver police urge people not take calls from anyone saying they’re from the Canada Revenue Agency

Suspect identified in Dollar Tree robbery

Security footage and witness statements lead to identification

Study shows increase in mountain bike tourism in B.C.

Numbers are up, way up, for bike-related visits to the province

Most Read