They're Off To See The Wizard At Drive-In

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In show biz, you have to think big.

So when coronavirus cancelled the Lincolnwood Drama Club performance of The Wizard of Oz that had been planned for April 3-5 in the Lincolnwood auditorium in Raymond, the club thought big.  Really big.  Like really big screen big.

Instead of a live production, the performance was recorded in July–with cast members wearing masks–and will be shown on the big screen at the Skyview Drive-In in Litchfield beginning at 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 6.  The cost is the regular drive-in price: $7 per person and kids age five and under are free.  A portion of the proceeds will go to the Lincolnwood Drama Club.

“We were only a few weeks away from the performance when school was closed, so we wanted to do everything we could to still make the show happen,” club sponsor Sarah Weatherford said. “After months of planning and scheduling, it was finally able to happen. We weren’t able to have our usual live performances due to COVID, but our administration graciously allowed us to video tape the show instead. We did need to wear masks and follow other guidelines to keep everyone safe, but I am so thankful we were still able to show off all of the students’ hard work. I know the masks may make it hard to understand some of the lines or see the emotions, but I also understand that it was very important to keep everyone safe and healthy. We are so incredibly thankful that we were able to still perform the musical. Over a year of work has gone into making this show happen, from planning and making the set, to rehearsing, renting costumes, etc. We all knew that no matter what, the show must go on.” 

Those unable to make it to the Skyview performance –or  just want to watch it again–can watch the musical at home by visiting https://lincolnwooddrama.anywhereseat.com/ to purchase an online access code to view the show on most any device. The video will be available to view from Aug. 7-14, and the cost is $10 per view; donations above that cost are appreciated.

The Lincolnwood Drama Club is fully funded from show ticket sales, concession sales, the mostaccioli dinner fundraiser, Pizza Man fundraiser, and sponsor donations. 

“Since we weren’t able to do quite a few of those events this year, the drama club is about $6,000 short of meeting our expenses for this production,” Weatherford said. “Any donations or help you can give would be greatly appreciated and would help us be ready for another amazing performance next spring. We are so thankful to all of our amazing sponsors so far, and we hope that these two options to view the show will be a great way to share the students’ amazing talent with the community and hopefully earn back part of the profits we lost from not being able to have our usual show weekend.” 

The production, directed by Weatherford, features Reagen Wilson as Dorothy, Silas Weir as Scarecrow, Juleighan Klein as Tin Man, Peyton Myers as Lion, Courtney Meyer as Wicked Witch of the West, Sam Turneus as Wizard of Oz, and Levi Weir as Toto.

The parts of Aunt Em and Glinda are played by Sara Slightom, Ian Marvel is Professor Marvel, Graham Gunn is Uncle Henry, Virginia Urbonas is Miss Gulch, Jacob Mizera is Zeke, Monty Yard is Hunk, and Eli Stevens is Hickory.

Kasandra Reif, Ian Marvel and Michelle Weitekamp play parts as Apple Trees, MaKenna Lutz as Doorman of Emerald City and Guard, Kasandra Reif as Leader of the Winged Monkeys Nikko, Cora Stevens, Eli Stevens, Ruby Stevens and Kierstyn Denney as Winged Monkeys, Michelle Weitekamp as Munchkin Mayor, Kasandra Reif as Munchkin Barrister, Virginia Urbonas as Munchkin Coroner, MaKenna Lutz and Kierstyn Denney as Lullabye League, Ian Marvel, Jacob Mizera and Monty Yard as Lollipop Guild, and Nikki Anderson, Kirsten Pope, Katelyn Armour, Kyra Shull, Graham Gunn and Cora Stevens as Munchkins.

Crows are played by Kyra Shull, Graham Gunn, Cora Stevens, Eli Stevens, Laura Steffen and Ruby Stevens.  Jitterbugs are Kyra Shull, Virginia Urbonas, Cora Stevens, Nikki Anderson, Kasandra Reif, MaKenna Lutz, Laura Steffen, Kierstyn Denney and Katelyn Armour.  Ozians are Kyra Shull, Virginia Urbonas, Graham Gunn, Nikki Anderson, Michelle Weitekamp, Kirsten Pope, Kierstyn Denney and Katelyn Armour.  Winkie Guards are played by Ian Marvel, Sara Slightom, Laura Steffen, Jacob Mizera and Monty Yard.

Assisting Weatherford in the crew are assistant directors Christian Mizera and Robin Sarver.  Tim Ensley and Adriana Reif handle the lights, John Speeks is in charge of sound, and Josie Klein, curtain.

Visit the Lincolnwood Drama Club Facebook page or email sweatherford@panhandleschools.com for more information. 

“Thank you so much to everyone who was a part of making this dream of ours come true,” Weatherford said.  “Thank you to the Lincolnwood administration and staff, Josh Hughes, Denise DeMoulin, the parents and students, the Skyview Drive-in, our sponsors, my family, my assistants Robin Sarver and Christian Mizera, and everyone else that I am so sorry I am forgetting right now. We couldn’t do this without you! It has been a long, tough road, with too many ups and downs to count, but we made it. We hope you enjoy Lincolnwood Drama Club’s 2020 production of The Wizard of Oz.”

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