There's no place like Memorial Auditorium to see the 'Wizard of Oz'

You can catch the songs, dances and fun scenes at Wadena-Deer Creek’s Memorial Auditorium on Nov. 18-20 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $5.

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In Munchkin Land, the munchkins welcome Dorothy as their new witch. Rebecca Mitchell / Pioneer Journal

“We’re off to see the Wizard, the wonderful Wizard of Oz!” You can catch the songs, dances and fun scenes at Wadena-Deer Creek’s Memorial Auditorium on Nov. 18-20 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $5.

You can follow your favorite characters from Kansas to the Land of Oz as they adventure to the Emerald City and learn about themselves on their journey home. The large cast and crew includes Lily Adkins as Dorothy, Maggie Hegarty as Aunt Em/Glinda, Kylee Collins as Uncle Henry/Oz Guard, Maddie Gallant as Zeke/Cowardly Lion, Eshetu Loer as Hickory/Tinman, Kelanie Oldakowski as Hunk/Scarecrow, Ashley Pavek as the Wizard of Oz and Ryann Schmidt as Miss Gulch/Wicked Witch.

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Dorothy (Lily Adkins) pleads with the Wicked Witch (Ryann Schmidt) and ensemble member Levyn Rousslang to let her go home with her dog Toto in a rehearsal of the "Wizard of Oz" on Nov. 12, 2021. Rebecca Mitchell / Pioneer Journal


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The Scarecrow (Kelanie Oldakowski), left, Cowardly Lion (Maddie Gallant) and the Tinman (Eshetu Loer) plan a way to set Dorothy free. Rebecca Mitchell / Pioneer Journal

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The munchkins surround Dorothy (Lily Adkins), the Cowardly Lion (Maddie Gallant), the Tinman (Eshetu Loer) and the Scarecrow (Kelanie Oldakowski) as they try to escape. Rebecca Mitchell / Pioneer Journal

The cast said some of their favorite scenes are anything in Kansas, meeting the wizard, screaming at one another’s characters, dancing and travelling along the yellow brick road. Over the weeks of practicing, which have been just about a month, Loer said the energy clicked recently. Adkins added watching Oldakowski become the Scarecrow, Gallant the Cowardly Lion and Loer the Tinman came in small moments that shone their character.

“The energy on the stage and the energy between everybody it’s just comforting even during a stressful day or a stressful performance. I just feel like everyone is supporting each other and that’s great,” Oldakowski said.

While rehearsing the musical, the cast and crew love laughing with their friends.

“A lot of us are coming together and no matter how many lines you have or if you’re just a munchkin or someone with no lines or someone in tech, we’re all super important and even without one minor role or anything the whole thing falls apart. So that’s really nice knowing that we’re all equals here,” Adkins said. “We all need each other,” Oldakowski added.

Hegarty and Adkins hope audiences will find the musical as funny as they do.


“The dances they bring up the moods because they’re just really simple, really little dances, and it’s one thing you can tell you really need to have fun with it. You need to be smiling and bouncing all over the place,” Adkins said.

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The Munchkins dance and sing as they welcome Dorothy. Rebecca Mitchell / Pioneer Journal

The ensemble includes Lily Parker, Kaylee Endres, Isabelle Lehmkuhl, Isabella Larson, Amaya Walker, Levyn Rousslang, Makayla Clark, Phoenix Gray, Abigail Ames, Addie Ames, Alexis Randall, Kaylin Lupkes, Grace Gallant, Anna Church and Lauryn Gravelle.

The crew includes Hannah Plautz, Chloe Kapphahn, Zooey Rousslang, Alexis Rousslang, Corra Endres, Katie Fieymeyer, Anna Fiemeyer, Megan Hamelau, Lydia Helmbrecht, Adam Plautz, Hannah Dosdall, Brayden Lenk, McKenna Dunbar, Katy Muckala, Emma Weniger, Kiyanne Maxwell and Kaylee Lehman.

The doors open at 6:15 p.m. on Nov. 18-20 with the show starting at 7 p.m. Tickets are $5 at the door.

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Glinda (Maggie Hegarty) explains to the Cowardly Lion (Maddie Gallant) how Dorothy had the ability to go home all along. Rebecca Mitchell / Pioneer Journal

Rebecca Mitchell started as a Digital Content Producer for the Post Bulletin in August 2022. She specializes in enhancing online articles as well as education, feature and health reporting.
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