Carson High stages ‘Oz’-some production
The Carson Performing Arts students at Carson High School are flying to a new world in the musical “The Wizard of Oz,” opening Saturday.
The story itself is what everyone expects.
“It’s a traditional ‘Wizard of Oz,'” said director Karen Chandler. “We’re trying to deliver as faithful a rendition … as we can, traditional iconic costuming and all.”
That’s not to say it’s a traditional high school play. The witch will really fly, the fireball is real flame, and there’s also a real dog.
“I think our kids are super sophisticated,” Chandler said. “‘Wizard of Oz’ is not so hard a show in terms of singing and acting. The story is ingrained in us from a young age, so it’s not difficult on that level. But, boy, you start layering in a little dog and kids flying through the air, and technically it’s very difficult.”
To ensure safe stunts, professionals were brought in.
Flying by Foy, a Las Vegas company that’s one of only two companies licensed to create stage rigging for flying stunts, was brought in to ensure safety. The company not only taught witches to fly, but the students also had a chance to practice flips and other aerial maneuvers.
“It’s a terrible amount of fun,” Chandler said. “These kids are so flexible and agile.”
Expertise for the fire stunt was found at home. The Carson City Fire Department ensured the safe and legal handling of fire.
Toto is played by Daisy, owned by high school teacher Misty Harris.
“The first time she (Daisy) came to rehearse with the kids, it was such a scream,” Chandler said, referring to the hyper dog who has since settled down to learn her role.
The musical “is loaded with a lot of things these students have never seen (in their productions),” Chandler said. “We really try to be sure the kids are getting a great experience. ‘The Wizard of Oz’ has all the bells and whistles.”
Last year, the students put on a very successful production of “Cats” with a lot of community support. This year, Chandler wanted to do something big as thanks to the community.
“We thought, what would the people with kids really like us to put on and to do a special job of it?”