Bluejays go down the Yellow Brick Road


Olivia Wright

Grace Clark as Dorothy, Clayton Wester as Cowardly Lion, Ashton Moore as Tinman, and Ian Thompson as Scarecrow sing “The Merry Old Land Of Oz ” along with Bryna Norman, Hope Thompson, Pascal Musci, Gunnar Mohn, Emily Grooms, Andrew Whitecotton, Aleeya Wilson, Abby Hollingsworth, Cora Johnson, Bailey Cass and Kirsten Elie.

Corbin Gustafson, Writer

As the air gets colder and fall spirit sweeps through Marshfield High School, the kids in theater are hard at work. They are set to perform the Wizard of Oz November 18-20.
Greg Holtschneider, director of the play and teacher at Marshfield High, said the kids have been at work since late August on the play. He and the leadership team began working on the play in April of last year.
“The leadership team is myself, Ms. Beatie and Mr Patterson. We spent the summer researching, planning and designing then we started auditions with the students last week of August,” said Holtschneider.
The cast has been rehearsing Tuesday through Saturday. At one of their rehearsals, Wednesday, Nov. 10, they looked happy and eager to start. Laughing and cheery, they got right to work practicing “Merry Land of Oz.” They were very attentive and showed a lot of respect for Holtschneider and Kaleb Patterson, the junior high choir teacher.
During the rehearsal, the singing was on point and the dancing visually pleasing. The team was very organized, the first thing they did was stretch then they got right into rehearsing their song. Patterson was right up with them.
The program is growing, with a lot of freshmen in the play.
“We have a lot of new people this year. Our numbers are huge and we’re starting to get where we’re progressing,” said Holtschneider. “Including everybody we have about 145 people working on the play.”
That number includes cast, crew, art, box office, and stagecraft. 63 people are in the play directly; that number includes 21 little kids from Shook.
“Covid was damaging in fact that people were just not coming out. We’re just trying to get people off their phones and into the live theater. With this size group this is the beginning of a second growth of the program. With all these new people we’re just trying to keep the program growing in the right direction, ” he added.
They feel like they’ve managed their time really well and are excited and happy to present the play to the rest of the school.
“I think we’ve done a really good job coordinating everything. The biggest hurdle has probably been trying to allow kids to be in other activities. It’s very difficult to put on something this size when you don’t have everyone all the time,” Holtschneider said.
One thing to remember is that they are doing the play, not the movie. “The story itself is about enjoying the things you have. It’s nice to dream but sometimes the dream is right there with you.”

Everyone can come see the show November 18-20. Shows start at 7 pm. Tickets are $7.50 for adults and $5 for senior citizens and students.