Bringing a production to life on the stage

Cast of The Wizard of Oz. Photo Andrew Rudd.
Cast of The Wizard of Oz. Photo Andrew Rudd.
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TRISH TAKES FIVE: By Trish Burgess

There’s an old African proverb: “It takes a village to raise a child.” This came to mind last Saturday night when the curtain finally came down on the SADOS production of The Wizard of Oz. Bringing this musical to life required the efforts of so many people in the community.

The proud parents, our producer and directors, looked for a good home in which to nurture their new baby. The South Holland Centre and its team provided a fine stage and great technical assistance.

A talented group of set builders were on hand to decorate this home, spending several days sawing and hammering to create Dorothy’s home in Kansas,the Tin Man’s cottage and the Emerald City. A young art and design student also pitched in with a paintbrush to add the delicate touches.

This babe needed to be clothed so our wonderful wardrobe mistress sourced specific outfits from costume agencies whilst our skilled seamstress ran up a dizzying array of required garments for munchkins and monkeys.

Every child wants something to play with. Our props department came up trumps, creating a spell book and a scroll whilst hunting out countless items such as a broomstick and an oil can. Friends heard our cries for help on Facebook and let us borrow a bicycle and a cart.

A baby needs to be entertained and stimulated. Colourful lights, music and technical wizardry all came together to make this show sparkle. With some neat choreography and dazzling make-up, the production came alive.

Friendship and support from others is vital. In our production we were so grateful that chaperones gave up their time to babysit and our families stood by us during months of rehearsals.

Assistance from others who have also had experience of bringing a production to the stage, was invaluable. Many members of St Nicolas Players came to our aid with set building and stepped up to be our backstage crew at the theatre. This support will never be forgotten and I hope will be reciprocated in the future. Raising a child is hard work, made lighter when others provide help and support. Everyone who has been involved in The Wizard of Oz can feel justly proud of the part they played.

But time goes by very quickly and it’s not long before you realise the job is done. Scripts are returned, costumes handed back, props placed in cupboards. It can be a sad time, saying goodbye to everyone who has walked with you every step of the way.

But we belong to a theatre family and it’s worth remembering that it’s a big family. There will be more productions to come. The village is waiting...

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