The spirit of Christmas is missing and area children participating in Rush County Player’s charming children’s adaptation of “Christmas in the Land of Oz” can surely help find it again…and maybe help reclaim your own Christmas spirit too. Come out and support the large, talented cast of young people who have worked hard to bring this up-lifting and fun-filled show to Rush County. It doesn’t get much cuter than this!
The community is invited to come and enjoy live performances this weekend of this Christmas production at 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday and a matinee starting at 2 p.m. Sunday in the Root Building at the Rush County Fairgrounds. Tickets are $5 for students and $10 for adults. Tickets are available in advance by calling Rush County Players at (765) 938-1711 or at the Root Building prior to each performance Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Come and see Dorothy and Toto, Scarecrow, Tin Man, the Lion, the Munchkins and many more old favorites and a few new ones! All your classic favorites are here in this Christmas adaptation of the Oz stories. In this endearing staging the Wicked Witch of the Northwest and her flying monkeys have stolen all the Christmas decorations. Dorothy returns to Oz in search of Christmas spirit missing from their farm in Kansas and reunites with her friends when she learns Munchkinland is also in need of her help. In the process, the Tin Man recovers his sense of humor, the lonely Lion finds a “Lady Lion” and Dorothy finds the spirit of Christmas to take back to Kansas for Aunt Em and Uncle Henry.
The littlest cast members will delight audiences with their sweet pre-show carols including, Jingle Bells, Santa Claus is Coming to Town, Rudolph, I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus, Frosty the Snowman, Up On the Housetop and We Wish You a Merry Christmas. These pre-kindergarten carolers include Bella Bartlett, Arrabella Chandler, Sierra Christmas, Ethan Evans, Dominick Evans, Aliyah Fada, Braxtin Hamm and Cody Hamm. These sweet singers will start you well on your way to finding your own Christmas spirit.
Newcomer Zoey Griffin is an amazing Dorothy who acts like a seasoned veteran with a cute and cuddly Paisley Chandler as Toto by her side. Kait Jett as the Wicked Witch of the Northwest will carry you away on her broom with her serious acting talent that truly brings this wicked character to life and sets the stage for a Christmas spirit showdown. Don’t worry Kait, they say it’s the sweetest girls that always play the best villains! Be prepared to be awed by this cast.
Andrew Christmas as the now Lonely Lion will keep you laughing with his comedic charm along with his amusing sidekick, the Tinman, played skillfully by Taylor Aldworth. The beloved Scarecrow is acted by Nick Comer who no doubt brings his brain and talent to the role. Holly Sams will bring you an endearing Aunt Em and Nick Amos transforms his young self into a very believable old Uncle Henry.
Glenda the Good Witch is enchanting as portrayed by Laura Smith and very reminiscent of the sweet character in the original movie. Gabby Doyle brings a creatively acted new twist to this classic tale as Wanda June the Good Witch of the South who really just wants to be a Country and Western star and not a witch. Her country flavor is a welcome addition to this very creative cast.
The large children’s cast filled from top to bottom with Christmas spirit, enthusiasm and big talent is a must see for anyone this weekend. The costuming for this play alone is well worth taking in and enjoying.
Children’s shows also require a talented directing team to keep them moving forward. This team delivers with: Director Whitley Fisher, producer Michael Fisher, junior assistant director Sadie Collum, music director Wade Griffin and technical director Jacob Amos.
Community theater offers much to a community and with this production, the community will receive a very healthy dose of Christmas spirit in return. Come out and support this enthusiastic group of young people as they entertain audiences with, “Christmas in the Land of Oz.” Performances are 7 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday in the Root Building at the Rush County Fairgrounds. Show these children the Christmas spirit of Rush County and support them with a large audience as they take the stage.
Melissa Conrad, firstname.lastname@example.org
Christmas in the Land of Oz has a wonderfully large and extremely talented young cast. In addition to those already mentioned, a whole host of wildly entertaining characters with big talent also includes: May Belle: Carly Buckley Billie Jean: Holly Sams Jim Bob: Brad Christmas Lady Lion: Shelbie Hornaday Mayor of Munchkinlan: Tyler Amos Toymaker of Munchkinland: Christopher Lee Feather: Lily Krodel Moonbeam: Paige Paugh Blossom: Kendra Buckley LT Chimp: Josie Doyle CPT Simian: Delaney Dawson SGT Ape: Drew Armstrong Roadies: Nick Amos, Abby Baker, Kirstyn Wilson and Mya Zunun Ozian Guards: Karli Hall and Mercedes Tanner Munchkins: Savannah Abrams, Derick Aldworth, Abby Baker, Bella Bartlett, Arrabella Chandler, Tank Chandler, Cierra Christmas, Dominick Evans, Ethan Evans, Aliyah Fada, Braxtin Hamm, Haley High, Aryn Koger, Johnny Page and Kayleigh Walton Flying Monkeys: Bella Bartlett, Arabella Chandler, Tank Chandler, Dominick Evans, Ethan Evans, Aliyah Fada, Kinsley Gabbard, Cody Hamm, Haley High and Johnny Page Kid Corral: Mercedes Tanner, Whitney Simpson