Off to see the Wizard! Youth Theatre Workshop’s ‘Oz” opens

Michael Conrad as Scarecrow sings "If I Only Had a Brain" to Breanna Cassidy as Dorothy. (Photo by Erik Jacobson)


by Bruce Strand, Arts editor

Munchkins, monkeys, Dorothy and Toto, and many other delightful creatures from Kansas and Oz are in town this weekend and next as Youth Theatre Workshop of Elk River presents “The Wizard of Oz.”

“This is the biggest cast we’ve ever had, with over a hundred kids, and we’ve built the biggest set we’ve ever had,” said producer Angie Cassidy. “It’s a lot of work but it’s going to be worth it.”

Emily Bowersox as Wicked Witch. (Photo by Erik Jacobson)

They are already singing “We’re Off to See the Wizard” and other classics as the opening performance on Friday evening at the ERHS Little Theatre was sold out in advance.  Nine performances remain, including two today at 2 and 7 p.m.

With 10 showings, the children’s and teen’s parts are shared.

There are six girls playing Dorothy. Breanna Cassidy and Shelby Swenson play the ‘Oz” Dorothy,  Taylor Christian and Tess Trombley play the “Kansas” Dorothy, and Katelyn Kolyeer and Lauren Theissen play the narrator Dorothy who have a live doggie at her side while narrating. In scenes, Toto is played by Alayna Conrad and Izzy Strand.

Moriah Babneau and Christine Lenneman share the Glenda (good witch) role, while Emily Bowersox and Elizabeth Budahn alternate as Wicked Witch of the North.

The three farmhands are played by Nate Chesemore, Joshua Malley, and Cullen Curatt. When they transform into Oz characters,  the Cowardly Lion is played by Paul Olson, the Tin Man by  Jamie Cassidy, and Scarecrow by Michael Conrad.

The munchkins are awash in color. (Photo by Erik Jacobson)

The other main adult parts are Denny Chuba as The Professor, Jodi Acker as Aunt Em, Bill Bade as Uncle Henry, and Chelsa Cabak as Mean Lady.

And then there’s dozens o kids playing munchkins, slowflakes, poppies, jitterbugs, crows, ozzians, monkeys and winkeys.


Wizard of Oz

Youth Theatre Workshop

Fri., April 27, 7 p.m.

Sat., Apri 28, 2 and 7 p.m.

Sun., April 29, 2 p.m.

Thur., May 3, 7 p.m.

Fri., May 4, 7 p.m.

Sat., May 5, 2 and 7 p.m.

Sun. May 6, 2 and 7 p.m.

At ERHS Little Theatre