Stony Point Players announce cast for ‘Wizard of Oz’

Jeff Kellogg was cast in the role of the Tin Man after recent auditions for the Stony Point Players upcoming production of The Wizard of Oz. (Press photo James Grob.)
Jeff Kellogg was cast in the role of the Tin Man after recent auditions for the Stony Point Players upcoming production of The Wizard of Oz. (Press photo James Grob.)
By James Grob, jgrob@charlescitypress.com

The roles have been cast.

Olivia Wolfe will be Dorothy.

Ruby Peterson, Jeff Kellogg and Mike Lembke will be the Scarecrow, Tin Man and Cowardly Lion.

And Sherri Niles just might knock your socks off as the Wicked Witch.

Over 60 individuals of all ages — some newcomers to the stage, others seasoned theatre performers — came to auditions for the Stony Point Players’ upcoming production of The Wizard of Oz, and the longtime Charles City-based theatre group announced those who earned principal and supporting roles this week.

Scarlett Woodard edged out some tough competition from Boomer Lundberg to earn the role of Toto, Dorothy’s dog, one of the production’s most coveted roles.

Rehearsals will start for the main characters next week. The players had a read-through this past Monday, and many were measured for costumes.

Performance dates for The Wizard of Oz will be June 30 and July 1 and 2 at the North Grand Building and Auditorium.

Two nights of auditions were held at the Charles City High School choir room earlier this month. Some who couldn’t be there auditioned with the directors privately, and there was even one actor who auditioned from thousands of miles away, via internet video.

It’s been about five years since the Stony Point Players have put on a show. Named for Stony Point Road, the location of a barn where the group performed in 1968, the Stony Point Players have been a community theater group in Charles City since the 1960s. In 1967, the group converted a hayloft on Highway 18 into a stage and acted there until the space was condemned by fire inspectors. After that, the Players moved from place to place, using a social hall, company auditorium, the Charles Theartre and the middle school stage as locations for their productions.

Now the Players will be back in action at North Grand. The familiar stage musical is based on the 1939 American musical fantasy film produced by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. It is widely considered to be one of the greatest films in cinema history, based on L. Frank Baum’s 1900 children’s book, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. It starred Judy Garland as Dorothy Gale, and was nominated for six Academy Awards, including Best Picture.

In addition to the principal and supporting roles, about a dozen actors have been cast to play the roles of Trees, Crows, Winkies and Jitterbugs; and more than 40 third and fourth graders have been cast to play the roles of Munchkins.

The show will feature a student chorus of about 25 singers and an adult chorus of more than 15. Jessica Hyde, Sue Davis and Barb Wohlers will lend their voices as pit singers.

Musical Director Derek Sturtevant is currently assembling the live orchestra. Melanie Johanningmeier will be piano accompanist.

The Wizard of Oz is being directed by Michelle Grob. Ryan Wolfe is student director.

THE WIZARD OF OZ CAST

DOROTHY — Olivia Wolfe

SCARECROW — Ruby Peterson

TIN MAN — Jeff Kellogg

COWARDLY LION — Mike Lembke

GLINDA, THE GOOD WITCH— Lynn Bauer

WICKED WITCH OF THE WEST — Sherri Niles

TOTO — Scarlett Woodard

AUNTIE EM — Yvonne Kisch

UNCLE HENRY — Chris Baldus

ZEKE — James Severin

HICKORY — Stu Coulson

HUNK — Bill Wolfe

MISS GULCH — Marcia DeVore

PROFESSOR MARVEL — Justin DeVore

EMERALD CITY GUARD —  Erik Gordon

WINKIE GUARD — John Perez

THE WIZARD OF OZ — James Grob

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