Local actors sparkle in Kaatza’s Wizard of Oz

Actors grace Centennial Hall in Kaatza Lakeside Players' latest production of the Wizard of Oz

Left to Right: Brandon De Pol (Tin Man)

Fancy a trip down the yellow brick road to see the wizard?

Then get yourself down to Centennial Hall, Lake Cowichan in the next few days for a viewing of the Kaatza Lakeside Players Society’s latest production.

The Wizard of Oz stars Lynnea Bruce, fresh from her recent part in YTV’s singing contest The Next Star, as main character Dorothy Gale as she is whisked away to the magical land of Oz.

Whilst there, she encounters trademark characters The Scarecrow, Tin Man, Cowardly Lion and The Wicked Witch of the West, all in a bid to get home to Kansas.

“It’s a really fun show and I have such faith in this cast,” said Bruce at this past Sunday’s dress rehearsal in Lake Cowichan. “This show will put a smile on anyone’s face.”

Bruce describes the role of Dorothy as a dream and sees acting as just as big a passion in her life as singing is.

“This is my dream role, I’ve wanted to play it since I was four years old. I absolutely love acting just as much as I love singing.”

The production of the show is already underway with the first one taking place Tuesday night.

The show will also run tonight, Friday and Saturday all at 7 p.m. at Centennial Hall.

And if that time doesn’t work for you, the show will also be on Saturday at 1 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m.

Colin Wylie plays the colourful role of the Scarecrow.

“It’s a great opportunity for people to come out and support local theatre and relate to the memories of their childhood,” he said. “Working with such a large cast has been unique so teamwork has been a big thing. We’re just like one big family backstage. It’s been really fun to play such a unique, fantasy-driven character.”

Lillian Laird plays the vital role of the villain as the Wicked Witch, as well as Dorothy’s cruel neighbour Almira Gultch who attempts to steal the main character’s dog, Toto, away from her straight off the bat.

“The role I’m playing has turned out to be a really good fit although it’s not like my general personality. I’m not mean at all,” said Laird smiling. “It was challenging at first to play an evil character.”

Like Wylie, Laird believes the unison amongst the cast and everyone involved with the production of the show has been pivotal in turning it into a great success.

“It’s been incredible, we’re just like a gigantic family and everyone has gone above and beyond to help out, it’s been fabulous.”

Throughout, the cast members have been under the experience and passionate direction of Dena McPhee and Lindsay Anderson who are co-directing the production.

Tickets for the Wizard of Oz are $20 or $15 for seniors, society members and under 18s.