Clarksville, TN – Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain!” Just click your heels together and travel over the rainbow this weekend as Clarksville’s oldest professional theatre enters Season 35 of live entertainment on the corner of Franklin and First in Historic Downtown Clarksville. F&M Bank presents “The Wizard of Oz” at the Roxy Regional Theatre now through September 30th, 2017.
Annabelle Szepietowski stars as Kansas farm girl Dorothy Gale, who dreams of escaping her mundane life until one day a tornado hits her hometown and carries her away to a land at the end of the rainbow.
Aided by a talking Scarecrow (Matthew Combs), Tin Man (Stephen Shore) and Lion (Bryan Plummer), young Dorothy and her little dog Toto battle the Wicked Witch of the West and her winged monkeys in order to get home.
“It’s great to be a part of such a family/community-oriented project,” Annabelle Szepietowski says, noting the character of Dorothy is one she has wanted to play since childhood. She goes on to laud the lessons taught by “The Wizard of Oz”: “We can be guided through certain situations in our lives by the people around us, but at the end of the day, we are the only ones who can go out and get what we want. I hope that everybody who comes to see our show can take something from it, as well as enjoy the classic story that’s been a part of so many people’s lives.”
“Scarecrow is a role I’ve always wanted to play,” says Matthew Combs, who adds, “This is my first time working at the Roxy, and I am absolutely loving it! The creative team is professional and focused, but still fun to be around. Rehearsals have been collaborative and fast-paced. We are working very hard to bring this classic to life on stage here in Clarksville, and I am positive that the audiences are going to love the show.”
Stephen Shore makes his return to the Roxy Regional Theatre after opening last season as Johnny Cash in Million Dollar Quartet and playing Dr. Frank N. Furter in The Rocky Horror Show. “Returning to the Roxy feels like coming home again. I’m delighted to play the Tinman and I hope I do him justice. Now, I must be off to see the Wizard about my heart — a heart I found right here in Clarksville just a season ago.”
Bryan Plummer, who brings the cowardly Lion to life in the show, remarks on how fitting it is for “The Wizard of Oz” to mark his return to performing on stage following a long hiatus: “I’ve had to travel my own yellow brick road the last ten years, with witches and flying monkeys testing my every move and trying to find courage along the way. Being scared of everything, like the lion, is what I do best, but luckily there’s been nothing to be afraid of thus far in Clarksville. This is a dream come true.”
Directed by Ryan Bowie and choreographed by Emily Rourke, “The Wizard of Oz” features Bowie in the dual role of Miss Almira Gulch and The Wicked Witch of the West, Quinn Tierney Vaira as Aunt Em / Glinda, Benny Jones as Uncle Henry / Emerald City Guard, and RJ Magee as Professor Chester Marvel / “The Wizard of Oz”, along with Tyler Baxter, Dean Cestari, Elisa Galindez, Andrew Gasparini, Christen Heilman and Kaitlyn Williams.
Rounding out the cast as citizens of Munchkinland are twenty-six local youth: Elisabeth Carroccia, Lorraine Cutting, Caleb Crosby, Aramae DoVanne, Emica Gattignolo, Hayden Gilbreath, Kinsley Hendrix, Valerie Hillenberg, Jasmine Holmes, Wesley Kettle, Hailey Lehman, Sylvia Mendiola, Rebecca Morrison, Lauren Mund, Guinevere O’Brien, Emma Petrie, Kalee Ramos, Lillie Rich, Yarelly Rios, Tanner Sigears, Bailey Sinks, Mallory Skernivitz, Caitlyn Stockton, Jackson Williams, Lauryn Williams and Eudora Woolery.
“The Wizard of Oz” is presented by arrangement with Tams-Witmark Musical Library, Inc., with musical recordings provided by The MT Pit, LLC. In addition to F&M Bank, funding support for “The Wizard of Oz” has also been provided by Kay & Randall Haase, Jim & Dottie Mann, Barbara & Larry Goolsby, James G. Holleman, Rick & Mary Konvalinka, Nancy & Garnett Ladd, Sal & Andrea Herrera, Melinda Kelly-Major and John & Cathy Stanton.
Due to the double casting of children, the traditional opening night pay-what-you-can preview will be spread over the first two evening performances. All tickets not pre-sold at the regular ticket price will go on sale at 7:30pm on Saturday, September 9th, for a $5.00 minimum donation.
On Saturday, September 16th, selections from “The Wizard of Oz” will be presented as part of GALA 35, the Roxy Regional Theatre’s annual fall fundraiser.
Performances of “The Wizard of Oz” run now through September 30th on Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7:00pm and Fridays and Saturdays at 8:00pm, with 2:00pm matinees on Saturday, September 9th, 23rd and 30th. (Due to GALA 35, there is no performance on Saturday, September 16th.)
Tickets are $25.00 (adults) and $15.00 (ages 13 and under) and may be reserved online at www.roxyregionaltheatre.org, by phone at 931.645.7699, or at the theatre during regular box office hours (9:00am to 2:00pm, Monday through Friday, and one hour prior to curtain). Military, APSU students and CitySaver coupon holders can receive two tickets for the price of one to Wednesday and Thursday performances during the run.
The Roxy Regional Theatre is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to producing professional live theatre and promoting the arts, with emphasis on education, in Clarksville, Middle Tennessee and the Southeast. The theatre is located at 100 Franklin Street in Historic Downtown Clarksville.
For more information, visit www.roxyregionaltheatre.org