Production History: The Wizard of Oz (2012)

Semester Overview

The Wizard of Oz is a timeless tale, and everyone came into rehearsal with clear ideas about the story and the characters. During our first class in September, we asked everyone to take the stage to show us their favorite moment in this famous story, and tell us what they most wanted to do in the show (sing, dance, scene, monologue, etc.). We built the final show as a “highlight reel” or their suggestions, allowing everyone to share roles (we had 8 Dorothy’s, 2 Tin Men, and 3 Witches, amongst others). It has been so fun to watch our group play with this beloved story, and put their own spin on these well-known characters. Our classes were focused on the power of music to communicate and express feelings.

As always, our actors got a chance to play with multiple characters and worked together in short scenes. We also featured the ensemble working as a team with several group pieces: A movement piece creating “The Tornado”, a big group song and dance to “Follow the Yellow Brick Road”, and we closed the show with “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” performed in American Sign Language. 

This semester also marked continued growth with 4 new actors, and a bigger rehearsal space courtesy of Christian Fellowship Church. 


 Guest Artists:

  • Choir director and musician Peter VanKempen led our music rehearsals
  • Sara Schuh joined us again (via Skype) to teach us ASL for “Somewhere Over the Rainbow
  • Northwestern Medill School of Journalism student Gabriel Cohen joined us for class and interviewed a few of our students for a radio piece about living with Down Syndrome. Click here to listen



December 15th & 16th, 2012 at Studio BE


Teen Drama Troupe

Colleen Altman

Quincy Bane

Marissa Bloodgood*

Rachel Buchanan

Jack Butler*

Alena Counter-Brown

Kathleen Daley

Andrew Kosnik

Emily Kwidzinski

Emily Lavin

Lucas Miezel*

Sam Petri
Sam Radinsky

Lucy Walsh*



Mallory Schuh-Alcala & Katie Yohe


Musical Director & Narrator

Peter Van Kempen*



Kate Garwood* & Kendra Van Kempen



Amanda Averack*

Travis Gauchay

Lawrence Kern

Katie White



Jess Fernandez* & Aislinn Gauchay*


Lighting and Sound Technician

Aaron Shapiro


Poster Design

Brandy Taylor of Graphic Sorbet

* = first semester with our ensemble

All summer long, we're taking a look back at some of our past performances and celebrating the growth and development of our ensemble throughout the years. Next time, we'll revisit another Shakespearean classic: The Taming of the Shrew!