In 2014, a group of young and energetic fifth grade students suggested to Corbin Junior Redhound Theatre Director Brandise Grimes that the troupe should tackle, “The Wizard of Oz.”
“It is one of my favorites, but I joked with them, that unless we could get Judy Garland to play Dorothy, it wasn’t going to happen,” Grimes said.
Fast-forward to Thursday, Friday and Saturday the Betty Hamilton Center for the Performing Arts at Corbin High School, when Corbin Junior Redhound Theatre presents, “The Wizard of Oz.”
Grimes said those fifth-grade students that suggested “The Wizard of Oz,” are now eighth-graders who will be making their final performances.
“It is a nice sendoff for them,” Grimes said when asked why she elected to take on such a project.
Grimes said that in bringing, “The Wizard of Oz” to stage, she was in a quandary concerning how much do they try to make the production like the movie.
“If we do, people will hold it up to the movie,” Grimes said. “We want it to resemble the movie, but we didn’t try to be exact.”
Grimes said the differences may be seen in the costumes, the set and even the way some of the characters are portrayed.
One of the biggest differences is Toto.
In the scenes in Kansas, a stuffed animal portrays Toto. However, once Dorothy arrives in Oz, Moo Williams takes on the role.
“It is a nice salute to the movie,” Grimes said.
Many of the same students have had pivotal roles in productions of, “Alice @ Wonderland,” “Willie Wonka Jr.,” and “Edgar Allen Poe’s Nightmare Theatre: A Frightful Comedy.”
“A lot of times after the performances, I have audience members and parents come up and say how amazed they were with the quality of the show,” Grimes said. “Our shows are what they because of the kids and their natural talents.”
Performances begin at 7 p.m. each night.
Tickets are $8 for adults and $5 for students.
All proceeds go back into the program to fund future shows.