Students at Lura Libby School and Cushing Community School were visited by the Hampstead Players for live performances of "The Wizard of Oz."

Kindergarten through fourth-grade students sat in awe as the performers brought 'The Wizard of Oz' to life on stage. Students at each school were invited to ask questions of the actors after the production.

Kayla Cohen, a fourth-grader at Lura Libby School said, “This was my first time seeing The Wizard of Oz. I thought it was really cool that they did the whole play with only two people.”

Hampstead Players actor Jerrad Aker assumed a variety of roles, including a Munchkin, the Lion, the Tin Man, the Scarecrow, and the Wizard of Oz himself. Michelle Ogden appeared as Dorothy, the Wicked Witch of the West, and the Gatekeeper.

Alaina Myer, a fourth-grader at Lura Libby School, gained a new respect for the versatility of actors saying, “It was awesome because the quick costume changes were amazing!”

Classroom teachers helped prepare students for the performance by accompanying the children to the Farnsworth Art Museum’s 'The Wizard of Oz' exhibit. Other classrooms read the book prior to the performance, viewed clips from the movie, and learned about various adaptations of the famous book. One third grade class created a graphic organizer that compared and contrasted the movie, book, and play.

Dasia Hustus, a third-grader at Cushing Community School said of the performance, “I really liked it! My favorite part was at the beginning when Dorothy was in the tornado.” Cushing Community School even had its own in-house reviewer. Third-grader Max Crute rated the performance: “On a scale of 1 to 5, it was a 5!”

The event was sponsored by a grant secured by Shannon M. Parker in RSU13’s Adult Education department. This grant aims to increase art opportunities for local area youth.