Children are audience, stars in 'Wizard of Oz'

Neighbors

January 21, 1998|By Pat Brodowski | Pat Brodowski,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

CHILDREN CAN get into the act during the children's theater performance of "The Wizard of Oz" this weekend at North Carroll High School.

Performances are at 7 p.m. Friday and 2 p.m. and 7 p.m Saturday. Tickets cost $3 for adults and $2 for children under 12.

"This is an audience-participation version," said Roberta Gore, a drama instructor at the school. "It doesn't have a cast of thousands, so there are lots of opportunities for children. They're asked to be Toto watchers by holding the leash of the dog. The kids stand up to be the trees. They're also the Munchkins."

The play lasts about 70 minutes, just enough to please its intended audience of elementary and pre-school children.

Christina Treppe, a senior with four years of theater to her credit, is the director, with Tamara Fadoul as assistant director. They and the eight-member cast have been working since early December with a minimum of adult intervention.

"Christina has been the sole artistic force. She has really carried this on her own," said Gore. "She has a great cast, who are very respectful of her. She's been wanting to direct a play, so this has been a dream come true for her."

Plays at the school are sponsored by the drama club, and nonmembers audition, too. For many years, Gore has been the adviser to the club.

Now, Jon Dunski, biology teacher, is learning the ropes by preparing a separate cast and crew for the spring musical. Gore, meanwhile, is preparing for the role of motherhood -- her second child is due next month.

For Tony Lohr, it's his first play, and his knack for somersaulting across the stage is a highlight. Other cast members have been on stage together several times before.

Trish Szymanski plays Dorothy. Her three companions are Mark Young playing the Tin Man, Jamie Carbo as the Cowardly Lion, and Tony Lohr as the Scarecrow. The man they want to meet, the Wizard of Oz, is played by Tony Furry.

Becky Lagatare plays the Wicked Witch. Amy Hyde plays Glinda the Good Witch.

Toto is played by Andrew Wherley, who's put kneepads to the test.

"Andrew's been a real good sport. He's done all the rehearsals on his knees," said Gore.

Participation plays are really successful with kids, Gore said. The cast members weave through the children for a magical effect. Suggestions of scenery fire up their imaginations. And in this version, the story is not too terribly complicated for ages 3 and up.

Gore's advice: Arrive a half-hour early for seating in the first five rows reserved just for small children.

Information: North Carroll High, 410-751-3450.

School open house

An alternative to public school is offered in Hampstead at Morning Star Christian School, 328 Hanover Pike, in the facilities of Hampstead Baptist Church.

The school will hold open house days at 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. Feb. 5 and at 1 p.m. Feb. 20 during its open enrollment for academic year 1998-1999.

This Christian-based, nondenominational educational program for kindergarten through eighth grade is in it's third year. Class size is kept to about 18 students, and traditional English, science, math, physical education, art, and library use are taught.

"We use phonetic-based reading. The upper middle grades are taught algebra and Latin as a preparatory for all languages," said Marsha Butler, a member of the parent board.

The school has received accreditation by the Association of Christian Schools International.

"There was a need for a good academic, but Christian-based, school in this area," said Butler, one of many who has worked for three years to build the school to its current enrollment of 75 students in grades one through seven. The eighth grade will be added next year.

"The idea was a cooperative one among several churches. A lot of people got together and put the school together. Board members are educators, ministers, and lay people," said Butler.

Information: 410-239-2298.

Pat Brodowski's North neighborhood column appears Wednesdays in the Carroll County edition of The Sun.

Pub Date: 1/21/98

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