Follow the Yellow Brick Road to Nichols Middle School’s spring play

Jan 15, 2024

MIDDLEBORO — We’re not in Kansas anymore! After auditions in October and a lot of hard work over the last three months, The Nichols Middle School Drama Club is nearly ready to present “The Wizard of Oz”.

Nichols Middle School Musical Director Eliza Thornton said the hardest part of the production process has been that many young actors have never been part of a musical before.

“They don’t already have a working memory of what is upstage or downstage, where to stand on stage or how to stay facing the audience,” said Thornton.

“They’ve come a really long way,” said Thornton. “It is all starting to cohesively stick together and it is looking really good.”

One student who does have previous theater experience is Hazel Leandres, who will be starring as Dorothy Gale, who was originally played by Judy Garland in the 1939 film.

“It has been a lot of fun,” said Leandres. “I love being in the moment and performing for people so this is one of my favorite roles I’ve [played].

Leandres has also been in “Annie Jr.” and “Stuart Little” during her time as a student at Nichols Middle School.

Leandres said that she watched “The Wizard of Oz” movie “so many times” over the past few months.

“Hazel is a very hard worker, she is always trying to be ahead of the game in her preparedness and she is very gracious,” said Thornton. “She is accepting of feedback from peers and is always helpful with them as well.”

Thornton said that a strength of the cast is their ability to work together and support each other.

“We don’t have anybody in the cast who is a diva and we don't have anybody in the cast who has to be the center of attention all the time,” said Thornton.

Opening night is scheduled for Friday, Jan. 26 at 7 p.m. Two showings will take place on Saturday, Jan. 27, at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 each and can be purchased at the door of Nichols Middle School on the day of each show.