The mere laughter of children never fails to make you go back in time and reminisce about the joy and simple humor you once had before college responsibilities.
Last weekend, you were able to laugh like a kid again while watching Springfield College’s Best of Broadway performance of “The Wizard of Oz.” About 100 people attended Thursday night’s debut and filled Fuller Arts Center with child-like laughter (literally, there were kids there, too) due to the superb acting by the entire cast. Springfield students Meghan Foy, David Rykowski, Jen Rollinson, and Ryan Louis were able to carry out the roles of the main characters Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Tinman, and the Cowardly Lion in perfect fashion. Each scene had been carefully thought out with clear intentions of making this play intriguing and light.
“A tremendous amount of work goes into building the stage props. Since our club is smaller in size we have our cast, crew, advisor, and everyone helping pitch in. Our director and president, Rachel Cogswell, worked tirelessly to help make our stage come alive this year,” says sophomore Kyle Andolina, the Wizard of Oz himself. The time and effort the cast members put in, on and off stage, were clearly showcased and appreciated by everyone in the audience.
“There were many hours rehearsing for the show,” co-director Rachel Cogswell explained, “we had three full days that we worked on sets for at least 10-14 hours a day and after that, during rehearsals we would continue to work on sets as needed.”
As co-director, Cogswell’s role was to create the work schedule as well as sort out where everyone was to stand on stage, behind the stage, and work toward making the show the best they could. They definitely succeeded.
“I personally love being part of the musical theater group here at SC,” continues Cogswell, “Our cast is like a family to me, which is really nice to be able to say. We are very accepting and open-to-anyone type of club, which means we get a nice variety of people who work with us.”
Throughout the Wizard of Oz performances, there were men playing female roles such as Kyle Andolina playing one of the visiting witches, and women playing male roles like Jen Rollinson as the Tinman without a heart. The variety of cast members and personalities came through each character as the twentieth century dance the jitterbug was performed and brought joy to everyone who attended the show Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night.
It was apparent that the cast was having just as much fun as the audience with laughter breaks and moments of pure happiness. For Stuart Sokoloff, a sophomore spectator, it was nice taking a break from the books and to have some entertainment on campus.
“Instead of paying double figures for a movie, it was nice to pay a few dollars and at the same time, support our school. The students who were in it did an amazing job! I had been studying for hours, so it was nice to get out and take a break.”
Best of Broadway presented a high-quality musical performance of “The Wizard of Oz.” Congratulations to all of the actors, stage crew, directors, and members of the musical theater for a successful performance.