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Pratt students perform 'Chose Your Own Oz'

Kahrie Stegman
The cast and crew from "Chose Your Own Oz" include back row from left- Bella Barker, Cassie Whitson, Deja Smith, Alyssa Green, Graciela Garcia, Selena Bale, Kahrie Stegman, and Jackson Baker. Front row from left: Andrew Van Slyke, Natalie Miller, Rafe Donnenwerth, Blake Bare, Darrian Cox, Caleb Powell, Jesse Kemper, Tessa Schmidt, Jenna Harbaugh, and Derrick Newby. Not pictured: Donovan McAbee.

The Pratt High School and Liberty Middle School theater departments combined to put on a winter play last weekend to provide the community with some comedy to remedy the post-holiday slump.

Fourteen actors and six crew members rehearsed from November to January for the play, Choose Your Own Oz by Tommy Jamerson. This was not a typical play, though. Many audience members were surprised to enter the auditorium to see that they would not be sitting in the auditorium seats, but that they would be sitting on the stage with the cast instead.

The show was the classic Wizard of Oz story mixed with the Choose Your Own Adventure books, but with a twist. The audience made decisions that changed many elements of the show, such as Toto’s species, Dorothy’s shoes, and The Wicked Witch of the West’s flying monkeys. The play was originally intended to take place Friday and Saturday, Jan. 10 and 11 at 7:30 p.m., but icy road conditions caused the Friday’s performance to be rescheduled for Sunday at 2:30 p.m.

Darrian Cox played Nigel Dee Narrator; Alyssa Green played Dorothy; Selena Bale played Toto; Kahrie Stegman played Glinda; Graciela Garcia played Mumbi (also known as the Wicked Witch of the West); Caleb Powell played Jack the Scarecrow; Rafe Donnenwerth played Tinker the Tin Man; Donovan McAbee played Eugene the Cowardly Lion; Uncle Henry and Aunt Em were played by Jackson Baker and Tessa Schmidt; and the munchkins, Flying Henchmen, Trees, Poppies, Animals, and Maids were played by combinations of those previously listed, along with Blake Bare, Jesse Kemper, Deja Smith, and Cassie Whitson.

The play was directed by Rose Beilman; set was designed by Derrick Newby; light design was by Bella Barker and Andrew Van Slyke; backstage crew was Derrick Newby and Jenna Harbaugh; and sound was by Natalie Miller. All actors, backstage crew, and tech crew were high school students.