By Jamie Reese
“Orders are nobody can see the Great Oz! Not nobody, not nohow,” said the Guardian of the Emerald City Gates.
And yet, the opportunity will fall right out of the sky in ESU’s Fine and Performing Arts Center from April 24 to April 27 as university theatre students perform a musical adaptation of “The Wizard of Oz.”
The curtains drop at 7:30 PM on April 24 and 25, 2 PM and 7:30 PM on April 26 and 2 PM on April 27.
In recognition of ESU’s upcoming production, Liztech Jewelry, Trackside Restaurant and Dansbury Diner are donating sales to the University’s theater department by allowing students to circulate coupons.
“The coupon gives ESU ten percent of the price at trackside, LizTech and Crystal Street Diner,” said Margaret Ball, D.M.A., associate professor of theater and director of the production.
Liztech Jewelry, located on Crystal Street, is also selling handmade pins of characters from the “The Wizard of Oz.”
According to a recent press release, Liztech will donate 50 percent of profits from all Oz pin sales between April 21 and April 27 to ESU’s Theater Department.
In order to promote Liztech’s donations, theater students worked with the production’s theater designer, Yoshinori Tanokura, ESU assistant professor of theater, to create a window display of Emerald City and the Yellow Brick Road.
“Designing and building a window display is much like designing a miniature set,” said Ball. “This type of project really gives our design and technical theatre students a chance to apply the skills they have learned in class.”
If window displays, pins and food aren’t your thing, you can find a heart and support the theater department by attending the production.
“Ticket sales are very important to the theater department because that is what we use for our production budgets,” said Ball.
According to Ball, a musical of this caliber costs between $8,000 and $10,000 to produce.
“The royalties we have to pay are very expensive and take up quite a bit of the budget,” said Ball.
Consider the cost of costumes, a pianist, sound equipment and advertizing, and that $8,000 threshold is set.
The department is also looking to send students to the Kennedy Centre American College Theatre Festival in Cleveland, Ohio in January of 2014.
According to Ball, two ESU students won major awards last year. Kelsey Pulzone won a National Stage Management Fellowship and Michael Lloret won the Musical Theatre Initiative.
Funds raised this spring will help offset the transportation costs next year.
General admission is $12, but students get in for only $7. Senior citizens get in for $10 and minors get in for $5.
There are other ways to support ESU theater.
“We have open auditions each semester for all of our productions,” said Ball.
Those students who find the courage should seek out more information about productions next fall.
“We are always looking for people to work backstage and help build the sets,” continued Ball.
If you have a brain attuned to design and backstage work, this could be a great opportunity.
You might just find a home in ESU theater.
For more information, contact Ball at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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