Volunteers make ‘Oz’ shine at Milan

Photo by Joyce Ervin Milan High School students and members of the cast Katie Haddad, Lindsey Burch, Taylor Modigell and Jason Sell are photographed working on behind-the-scenes props for the upcoming production of “The Wizard of Oz” being presented on March 27 at the high school.

Photo by Joyce Ervin
Milan High School students and members of the cast Katie Haddad, Lindsey Burch, Taylor Modigell and Jason Sell are photographed working on behind-the-scenes props for the upcoming production of “The Wizard of Oz” being presented on March 27 at the high school.

By Joyce Ervin

Saws buzzed, drills whirled  and hammers rang during a set-building session Jan. 29 on the Milan High School stage. Volunteers were preparing for the upcoming “The Wizard of Oz”, theater production, opening on March 27 in the Dennis McComb Center for the Performing Arts.

Students, Katie Haddad, Lindsey Burch, Taylor Modigell and Jason Sell, who are part of the cast, were busy painting the yellow-brick road yellow.   Parent volunteer Natalie Pyle, mother of senior Nate Pyle, was busy gluing Styrofoam rocks with an industrial glue gun around a root cellar that would be used in the production.  She said she enjoyed doing the project, and she did a thorough job, even painting between the stones.

An unfinished wooden backdrop of Kansas lay on the stage floor.  It will be suspended during the play.  The head builder, Robert Burch was joined by a crew of men who were busy measuring and cutting wood, building platforms and more sections of the yellow-brick road.

Burch became a parent volunteer several years ago when his eldest daughter, Amanda joined the cast of “Peter Pan”.  She graduated in 2011, but he is still involved supporting daughter Lindsey.   Not an actress, but rather a dancer, Lindsey said she was the dance instructor for the “munchkins” performing in the play.  Burch said he had an actress and a dancer.  Lindsey studies at Dance Explosion in Milan.

While everyone worked, show tunes played over the sound system.  When all the tools were put away for the night, one of the crew ran a large mop over the stage floor.  The house lights came down and everyone silently left.

That silence will be broken come opening night when things are a bustle.  Burch said the volunteers, who began building the set a month ago, would be working right up until the actors walk on stage,  “There’s always a little something that needs touching up.”

For tickets or more information, visit http://milanareaschools.or/arts/ or http://www.showtix4u.com. Tickets also available by calling  439-5045 or at the door. A sell-out is predicated and ordering online is recommended. The Milan Performing Arts Center is located in the Milan High School at 200 Big Red Drive. Tickets are available 24 hours a day by calling . Seats are $10  students/seniors, $12 general public. Discounted rates for groups of 10 or more.

 

Joyce Ervin is a freelance writer.  She can be contacted at: jlervin42 [at] yahoo [dot] com. 

 

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