We’re Off to See the Wizard

The wonderful Wizard of Granville.

Snow may still be on the ground, but spring is in the air as students prepare for the Granville High School Drama Club’s performance of The Wizard of Oz. High School Band Director Jessica Stout is in her first year as the faculty leader for the Drama Club, and she’s hit the ground running during rehearsals with her students.

“There are so many moving parts to producing a show, especially with young actors,” said Mrs. Stout. “I don’t think people truly understand how much work besides teaching the acting and singing needs to be accomplished. There is so much time, materials, and energy put into producing a show that the performances are really just the tip of the iceberg.”

One of the goals Mrs. Stout and her co-director, Granville Elementary School Band Director Madeline Coons, have since taking over the Drama Club is to help empower the students. She wants her cast and crew to have a strong voice in the buildup to opening night, and wants her students to help guide rehearsals.

“I give them guidance and answer questions at the end so they know what to prepare for ahead of the next rehearsal or what still needs attention. This group has been excellent about taking direction from me and from their fellow members. I encourage an open dialogue, and encourage each actor to find the approach to preparation that works best for them.”

For an example of how hands-on Mrs. Stout encourages her students to be, you don’t have to look any further than the show’s choreographer. Junior Hailey Dupuis, who is also starring as Dorothy on stage, stepped up to help instruct her fellow castmates on all the dance moves theater-goers will get to see on opening night.

“We are fortunate to have a group of very committed students who are taking the endeavor seriously,” Mrs. Stout said. “We are also lucky to have the help of our art department and a parent volunteer to help create sets.”

One of the perks about putting on a performance of The Wizard of Oz is that it provides opportunities for students at Granville Elementary School to get a taste of what awaits them once they reach Junior-Senior High School. Mrs. Stout is hopeful that the younger students participating as Munchkins, Ozians, and even Flying Monkeys will carry that excitement of performing with them as they get older.

“Not every show is suitable or has roles that can be filled by younger students. This one is a bit unique in that students of a wide age range can participate. It allows students who haven’t been involved in drama to get a feel for being on stage and perhaps will inspire them to step into larger roles in future shows.” 

Mrs. Stout sees this year’s spring performance as another important milestone for the school returning to their pre-pandemic routines and habits as a community. She credits all the teachers and faculty who helped keep the Drama Club going during the pandemic for making this performance possible.

“The pandemic really hit the performing arts hard, so many programs are still rebuilding. I think our High School Art Teacher Todd Houston did an excellent job of getting the ball rolling again for our Drama Club last year, and I’m hoping that the program can keep flourishing and attract new members.”

While all eyes are on opening night, Mrs. Stout also keeps a close watch on what’s to come for the Drama Club in 2023.

“My main focus right now is making sure our performances are well-received and attended, but I think after this production, the cast and crew will get a much-needed short break so we have time to reflect on the production and assess what we did well and what needs work. We have a few ideas for end-of-year events that the club would like to produce. This is a great group of kids, and I’m very happy to be working with them!”

The Wizard of Oz opens on Friday, March 10.  

Although we will have the ability to sell tickets at the door, online purchase is highly encouraged. Online is $12 adult/$6 student (plus fees). The door price will be $16/$10