4th Grade Production of The Wizard of Oz
What is it?
The WOZ production is sponsored by the PTA and coordinated administratively by parent volunteers. It is NOT a school-run activity. Paid theatrical professionals from Adventure Theatre – Musical Theatre Center at Glen Echo Park hold auditions, select the cast, and run rehearsals after school. Now in its 13th season, the Wizard of Oz play is a fantastic Wood Acres tradition open ONLY to 4th graders.
Why is it special?
Participating in Wizard of Oz is a 4th grade right-of-passage. Participants feel a great sense of pride and accomplishment by the end of the 3+ month experience. It is a bonding experience, for the students and their parents. Ask any “WOZ Alum,” he or she will probably tell you that participating in the annual 4th grade play was a highlight of being a student at Wood Acres!
Who’s it for?
Honestly, ANY 4th grade student at Wood Acres. There is a part for every student – from those who have participated in theatre programs for years to those who have never performed for an audience. Participation in the theatre is a great way for students to attain self-confidence, learn teamwork and feel a sense of accomplishment no matter their previous theatre experience.
When are rehearsals? Performances?
Cast members meet twice a week after school from 3:30 – 5:00 pm to rehearse from mid-November through February with a full week of evening rehearsals and performances in early March. If there is one cast, rehearsals will be Tuesdays and Thursdays starting Thursday, November 16 through March 1 with evening rehearsals and performances at Adventure Theatre in Glen Echo Park each evening March 4 – 10. If we have enough students for two casts, the second cast will rehearse Mondays and Wednesdays November 15 – March 7 and evening rehearsals and performances will be March 11 – 17.
Attendance is crucial. Participants are expected to attend all rehearsals for which they are “called”. What does this mean? Once the play has been cast and students receive their role assignments, a rehearsal schedule will be completed. The rehearsal schedule will indicate which parts are scheduled to rehearse for each of the scheduled after-school rehearsals at school. Each cast member will be called for a majority of the rehearsal dates and must attend every evening rehearsal and show at Glen Echo Park.
Why is attendance so important? When one cast member is not at rehearsal or a show, it throws off the timing for the rest of the cast. Therefore, attendance expectations are different than they are for other after-school activities. For example, if your child misses a soccer game, chances are there is another teammate that can fill in. But in the theatre, each cast member learns a unique role and position on stage.
Parents are an essential part of the Wizard of Oz crew. Adventure Theatre provides professional direction, but parents of cast members provide all the backstage magic: costumes, make-up, photography, ticket sales, supervision during rehearsals, shows and so much more. Special skills are greatly appreciated, but not required. Student participation in the cast REQUIRES volunteer time by a parent or adult family member at least ONCE during the four-month rehearsal process after school and again TWICE during technical rehearsal week and performances. We realize this is a significant time commitment, but without it we would not be able to continue with this program. The parent coordinators will work with you to find responsibilities that fit your availability and talents.
How to sign-up
Applications will be posted on the PTA website and available for pick-up on the PTA table in the lobby of the school starting in early October. The participation fee is approximately $350 per student, which covers the cost of production, including paid staff and Adventure Theatre rental. The applications must be submitted in the labeled box on the PTA table during the week designated on the application. Applications must be submitted on time to be considered.
Those students accepted into the cast will audition for individual parts early in the rehearsal process. They will have a chance to rehearse parts of their audition requirements in the first few group rehearsals.
We do not want students to miss out on this opportunity because of an inability to pay the full tuition. Partial scholarships are available.
Want to know more?
We will host parent & student information sessions in mid-October. Look for more information about them in the Wildcat Week Ahead and on Woodnet.