by Lisa Tome
A local church and Relay for Life team are hoping the yellow brick road will lead to a cure for cancer.
Janes United Methodist Church is once again hosting a Relay for Life fundraiser show. "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" has been in rehearsals since January. Laura Muzert-Woods, who works directing theater groups in Pennsylvania, has once again been tapped to direct this show.
The first step in staging such a show was choosing what would be produced. Munzert-Woods said "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" was selected because the rights could be purchased affordably and the show is popular. The show also accommodates the large cast of about 40 children, nearly half of whom are members of Janes UMC.
"This is a huge show. There are lots of props, costumes, and cast members. Its a big production," said Munzert-Woods. There are also about a dozen musical numbers and dance routines included.
Elizabeth Eckman is serving as the musical director. Shannon Lynch is handling the choreography. Paul Kabakjian is the set designer.
Muzert-Woods' family members are pitching in with sound and other aspects of the show.
Mandi Schuldheisz is the student director. The cause is close to her heart because her mother is currently battling cancer. She also lost both her grandfathers to cancer. "I love doing this with all my best friends," said Schuldheisz.
Daisy Eckman is playing the Wizard of Oz. Rylynn Woods is appearing as Dorothy. Miranda Reilly is the Scarecrow. Bennett Spotts is the Cowardly Lion. Makenzie Wiegand is the Tin Man. Meghan Pitney is the Wicked Witch of the West. Sydney Tristani is Glinda the Good Witch. There are also large groups of Munchkins, Flying Monkies, and more.
"This gives them an opportunity to do what they love to help others," said Munzert-Woods. Show dates are March 21 at 7 p.m., March 22 and March 23 both at 2 p.m. Tickets for these shows are $6 per person. A dinner show will also be held March 22 at 5 p.m. Tickets for that show are $14 for adults and $10 for children. All performances will be held at Janes United Methodist Church, 213 North Walnut Street, Rising Sun. The proceeds will be split between the church and a Relay for Life team for this summer's Elkton Relay. These productions have been so popular that this year, Janes UMC will host a summer theater program. For more information about the summer program see Firefly Performing Arts Company on facebook.