Family Fun
July 29, 2013 • 06:35:10 a.m.

Fox Valley Rep presents ‘Wizard of Oz’

By SHEA LAZANSKY - slazansky@shawmedia.com

(From left) The Tinman (Deanne Capinpin), Scarecrow (Maegan Daniels), Cowardly Lion (Rebecca Roy), and Dorothy (Melissa Wickland) head off to see the Wizard during the Fox Valley Repertory Youth Ensemble production of “The Wizard of Oz” at Pheasant Run Resort in St. Charles on Sunday. Fox Valley Repertory offers camps and classes to students in the area. (Shea Lazansky – slazansky@shawmedia.com)

ST. CHARLES – One of the most beloved stories of all time is on the stage at Pheasant Run Resort in St. Charles.

“The Wizard of Oz” is currently being performed by the Fox Valley Repertory Youth Ensemble. Featuring 30 actors ranging in age from 5 to 17, “Oz” is the first show to be put on by the Youth Ensemble this year. (To meet local cast members, click here.)

Actors involved with the show went through an extensive audition process to become cast members.

John Gawlik, artistic director for Fox Valley Repertory, said those looking to be involved came with a song and monologue to perform for the show’s director and music director.

In certain cases, actors were asked to perform a different song or monologue suggested by the directors.

After the initial audition, those who stood out were asked back for a callback audition, where they performed against other students who were up for the same roles.

Although Fox Valley Repertory operates out of St. Charles, Gawlik said that anyone who lives in the area can participate in productions.

“We’ve had people drive from over an hour away,” Gawlik said.

In addition to performing onstage, Fox Valley Repertory offers students positions to help backstage with the behind-the-scenes process.

Those interested also can assist with costumes and makeup, or work as assistant directors or music directors.

Each “Wizard of Oz” performance ended with an appeal to those in the audience to explore what Fox Valley Repertory offers. While the productions put on by the theater take place at Pheasant Run Resort, the offices of Fox Valley Repertory are located across the street.

Gawlik said that because Fox Valley Repertory functions as a nonprofit company, profits made from onstage productions only cover a portion of the overall budget.

Also after each “Oz” show, the theater took donations to help fund the demolition of the wall between two rooms at the office in order to create the first classroom/rehearsal space to be open 24 hours.

They hope to have the space set up by the end of the year.

“The Wonderful Wizard of Oz,” written by L. Frank Baum in 1900, tells the story of Dorothy Gale and her dog, Toto, who are swept up from Kansas in a twister and brought to the magical land of Oz. Adapted into the well-known film starring Judy Garland, Baum’s story was first made into a musical in 1902 and is performed across the world today.

“The Wizard of Oz” can be seen on the Pheasant Run Resort Mainstage, 4051 E. Main St., St. Charles, at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, July 27, and 7 p.m. Sunday, July 28.

Tickets cost $10 for students and $15 for adults, and will be sold until the start of show.

Learn more at www.foxvalleyrep.org or 630-584-6342. (For more photos from production, click here.)


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