‘The Wiz’ eases on down to Virginia City | NevadaAppeal.com

‘The Wiz’ eases on down to Virginia City

Teri Vance
Cathleen Allison/Nevada Appeal

Miqehl Martensen, 16, had mixed feelings about being cast as the Wicked Witch of the West in Virginia City High School’s production of “The Wiz.”

“People say it suits me, which kind of bothers me,” she said. “But it’s a fun role.”

As she thought about it more, however, she could see more of the resemblance.

“It’s always fun to prance around and be mean for no reason,” she said. “You don’t get to do that in real life … OK, you’re not supposed to, I just don’t follow those rules.”

Band teacher Matt Breithaupt is putting on the play as part of the high school’s “intersession,” a break in January between semesters where students take enrichment classes rather than the typical academic curriculum. Tutoring classes also are available for students falling behind in a subject.

For the past five years, he has taught a garage band class over the intersession, but decided to shake things up this year with the production of the rock and soul musical adaptation of the “Wizard of Oz.”

“I wanted to do something different,” he said. “I wanted to reach out and get more kids involved, not just those interested in rock ‘n’ roll.”

Victoria Hynick, 17, had never acted before, but decided to give it a try. She was cast as the Cowardly Lion.

“It’s my senior year, and I’m always up for new things,” she said. “I’m really glad I did it.”

Masi Steele, 16, is a more seasoned actress, taking part in plays and her church. Cast as Dorothy, this will be her first leading role, but she is confident in her performance.

“I’m excited more than nervous,” she said. “I’m not really scared that easily.”

Six high school students signed up for the class. The other roles are being filled by teachers and students from the middle and elementary schools.

While it may seem that the intersession detracts from academia, it’s just the opposite, said 14-year-old Scarecrow Katrina Breithaupt, daughter of Matt.

“It gives us a boost,” she said, “so you’re not just bored with the monotony of the the everyday schedule.”

And it will be a treat for community members as well, Matt Breithaupt said.

The premiere seating will sell for $15 a ticket and, according to Breithaupt, it will be worth the price.

“It’s shaping up to be a $15 show,” he said.