There’s no place like home

The Spotlight Players are starting to work on the spring musical, “The Wizard of Oz.”


Deairra Williams

Mrs. Nelson and the cast do a script read through.

As second semester begins, the Spotlight Players are preparing for the spring musical, “The Wizard of Oz.” With applications for cast and crew coming in and auditions taking place, students are being given opportunities in a show they have never had before.

Senior Emily Gelski and junior Maddy Miller are the two assistant stage managers for this show, and being an assistant stage manager is something unlike the other tasks these girls have had on other shows.

“Sophomore year I was on paint crew, and last year I was one of the ancestors for ‘The Addams Family’,” Gelski said. “Now, I’ll keep everything organized, take down notes of what’s going on in rehearsals. On show night, assistant stage managers are on either side of the stage in the wings helping out with transitions between scenes and the props and stuff.”

An assistant stage manager has much more responsibility than anything else Gelski has done, but she is excited to be given an opportunity to be behind the scenes and to have some authority during the show.

Miller is also excited for this opportunity and for the new challenges and experiences that come along with it. Previously, she has been involved in both set and props crew, but this job will be something different.

“On the actual show nights, I’ll be in the wing. I’ll be paying attention to cues, like telling people to get on stage, and I’ll have a headset,” Miller said.

People wanting to be a stage manager or an assistant stage manager don’t have to audition, but they have to fill out a production staff application and be interviewed.

“There’s the applying process, and then there’s an interview process,” Miller said. “There are questions for visions of what you want to see in the show and what impact you think you can make on it.”

Though they don’t audition, the production staff still has a role at auditions.

“The stage managers and assistant stage managers pretty much just make sure that it goes smoothly,” Gelski said. “We hand out number tags, and we tell people ‘Make sure you have your music ready when you go in.’ If anybody is nervous, we’ll try to say, ‘Don’t worry about it, you’ll do great.’”

Senior Mariah Skelly auditioned for “The Wizard of Oz” and got the role of Barrister of Munchkinland. This is her first time being in a school show, and she is excited for the role.

Preparing for auditions wasn’t that hard for Skelly, though she did have some criteria she was looking for in her monologue.

“I had just done some auditions over winter break, so I had the song prepared, the harder part was the monologue because it had to be a certain time frame,” Skelly said. “I was looking for one that would be at least a minute and that I knew I could act well and that I actually liked.”

Auditions from an actor’s perspective are different than from an assistant stage manager’s perspective.

“You get your number, you go into the room, and you go in and sing your song and you do your monologue,” Skelly said. “There’s a table of judges scoring you.”

Skelly wasn’t that nervous for these auditions because she is used to auditioning for Young People’s Theatre, which involves a song and a cold read of the script.

From production staff to cast to crews, including the new puppet crew, there are many ways to contribute to “The Wizard of Oz,” all of which give both the contributors and the audience a reason to be excited for the show this spring.