ESS to perform original musical Wizard of Od(essa) May 24 and 25

ESS student cast of the Wizard of Od(essa) run through the musical finale with music teacher Tim Stiff at the keyboard. Photo by Adam Prudhomme.

Adam Prudhomme

A cowardly lion, a scarecrow and the tin man give way to a football star, cellphone selfies and a Power Ranger in Ernestown Secondary School’s modern twist on a classic.

Starting Friday this original story will hit the ESS stage for a live performance open to the public.

Written by ESS’ own music teacher Tim Stiff, The Wizard of Od(essa) will be feature a two show run in the school’s cafeteria, May 24 at 7 p.m. and May 25 at 2 p.m.

The cast of the musical fable is made up of students from Grade 7 to 12, featuring original music written by Stiff. Though the story borrows from The Wizard of Oz, there are some updated plot points that make it unique to ESS.

By penning an original story, it allowed the school to not have to pay costly licensing fees which means more money raised from ticket sales can go back into the arts program.

The main character, Dodie, bumps her head and wakes up in a strange land, similar to what Dorothy experienced in the original.

“She thinks she’s in Odessa but she’s now met by a crossing guard, who is sort of like the Good Witch character, and like a crossing guard does, helps her navigate the pathway. It’s about the journey for young people,” said Stiff.

Dodie soon learns she’s actually in a place called Odyssey-though the scenery looks a lot like Odessa.

Right away she meets three characters who have embodied their favourite possessions. A football star, a teen obsessed with selfies and a Power Ranger.

“It’s the first day of high school and they don’t know which was to go,” said Stiff. “They’re all looking for something and it happens to be a spirit day, bring their favourite token. So they have these things that represent them but now they have embodied their tokens.”

Naturally, the Wizard is a represented by a principal known as Principal Shannon, a nod to ESS’ real principal Shannon Tyner.

Playing the role of Dodie is Alyssa Smith, a Grade 8 from Odessa Public School.

“I really like singing and I’ve been singing since I was eight,” she said of trying out for her first musical. “I’m looking forward to showing people how much we’ve worked on this.”

George Mwale, a Grade 9, plays Principal Shannon.

“I just wanted to try something new and challenge myself,” he said. “It’s been fun working with different personalities and they really add to our storyline.”

Tickets for the show are $10 for adults and $8 for children and students. They’re available at ESS’ main office.

error: Content is protected !!