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There’s no place like Clarke Musical Theater

See the land of Oz pop in color on the Clarke stage

The lead characters of Clarke's fall musical "The Wizard of Oz" sport different parts of their costumes at rehearsal Monday. Pictured are, back from left, Samuel Reynoldson as the scarecrow, Daniel Hill as the lion and Derik Hill as the tinman, and front, from left, Maddy Mickle as Dorothy Gale,Madyson Hill as Glinda the Good Witch and Sam Bleden as the Wicked Witch.
The lead characters of Clarke's fall musical "The Wizard of Oz" sport different parts of their costumes at rehearsal Monday. Pictured are, back from left, Samuel Reynoldson as the scarecrow, Daniel Hill as the lion and Derik Hill as the tinman, and front, from left, Maddy Mickle as Dorothy Gale,Madyson Hill as Glinda the Good Witch and Sam Bleden as the Wicked Witch.

The Clarke fall musical, “The Wizard of Oz,” premieres 7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 9, at the Clarke High School auditorium with a second showing Nov. 10.

The Clarke fall musical has a record 106 participants which make up the cast, crew and pit band.

Those cast in the role of the munchkins are all under 5 feet tall, with only one high school student. The rest of the munchkins are middle school and elementary students with two 3-year-olds thrown in the mix. With so many young actors involved, musical rehearsals worked around them. Scenes with the munchkins were rehearsed first so as to maximize rehearsal time and get little ones home at a decent time.

This is the third time that drama teacher and musical director Don May has done the show, “The Wizard of Oz” at Clarke. Even as his third show, his favorite part is “making the kids smile.”

The musical has a fresh face leading the music this year with new choir director Mary Pohlmann. She was excited to be working on “The Wizard of Oz” when she came to Clarke, as she had considered doing the same show before coming to Clarke.

“I’m most looking forward to the kids seeing their own growth,” said Pohlmann.

The Iowa High School Musical Theater Association will be sending a judge to the show to give the students comments, notes and judge them.

Reserved tickets for the show are $7 and general admission tickets are $5 for adults and $4 for children.

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