• Double Trouble – Two Actors Tackle the Role of the Wicked Witch of the West

    by 
    Beth Fhaner
     | Aug 12, 2019
    The Witches from Wizard of Oz

    Ella Webb and Olivia Drury in ​The Wizard of Oz.

    With the role of Miss Gulch/Wicked Witch of the West double cast in the Summer Players’ production of The Wizard of Oz (Julianne Argyros Stage, Aug. 10-11, 17-18), actors Olivia Drury and Ella Webb are having double the fun this summer. In our Q&A with Drury and Webb, learn how they, along with the entire Oz cast—all advanced students in SCR’s Theatre Conservatory—are bringing this beloved musical to life on stage.

    How much fun is it to play the iconic villain role in The Wizard of Oz? What do you enjoy the most about the role, and what are your biggest challenges?

    Drury: It is an absolute blast to play the Wicked Witch in this show. My favorite part has to be terrorizing Dorothy and her crew! The actors are some of my best friends, so it’s really fun to get to be really cruel and terrify them. The biggest challenge was definitely the size of the witch. It is such an iconic role, so filling those shoes was a little intimidating at first. I just had to learn to go for it, play around and be okay with making a fool out of myself.

    Webb: I’ve loved getting to play the Wicked Witch in this production of The Wizard of Oz. Playing such an iconic role is certainly daunting; one of the biggest challenges I’ve faced throughout the rehearsal process is creating a character that still feels unique and truthful to me, having grown up watching the Wicked Witch performed a certain way. Finding my individual Witch has really pushed me to experiment with character choices, whether that meant playing into some of Margaret Hamilton’s iconic choices or looking at the character from an entirely new angle. Perhaps the most enjoyable part of this process has been reveling in this character’s evilness. Playing villains like the Witch is incredibly fun because you have the opportunity to develop motivations and reasonings for the character’s actions throughout the story. The time I’ve spent talking with Hisa [Takakuwa], our director, and Olivia, my counterpart, about the nature of Ms. Gulch and the Witch has been a real highlight for me. 

    Does the double casting of the Miss Gulch/Wicked Witch of the West role allow you to play other characters in the show?

    Drury: Yes! In addition to Ms. Gulch and the Witch, I also play a Crow that bullies the Scarecrow, a citizen who welcomes Dorothy to Oz, and the Winkie General who commands the army of the Wicked Witch of the West.

    Webb: When Olivia and I are not playing the Witch and Ms. Gulch, we are on an ensemble track for the night. We get to play a Crow, an Osian [resident of Oz], and also get to control Glinda’s bubble!

    Were you a fan of L. Frank Baum’s Oz books or the classic film before getting cast in The Wizard of Oz?

    Webb: Before getting cast in this production of The Wizard of Oz, I was a big fan of the classic film. I remember watching the film when I was younger, singing along during “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” and covering my eyes when the Witch appeared onscreen. The film is definitely a big part of my childhood, so it is very fun to tell the story now. 

    Drury: If I’m being completely honest, the movie totally terrified me as a child (especially the Wicked Witch). But I read the book in fifth grade and fell in love with all the characters, magic and adventure.

    What are some of your favorite memories from Players’ Productions?

    Drury: I loved being the Whisk in Beauty ​and the Beast and terrorizing Lefou. As a chimney sweep in Mary Poppins, I had so much fun getting to create all the magic of the show. I really enjoyed being the Narrator in Into the Woods and getting to establish the story and support the other characters. Throughout all my years of Players, it’s always been a joy to work with Hisa and Erin [McNally, musical director], the stage management team, the crew and my fellow cast members.

    Webb: Summer Players has gifted me with so many wonderful memories throughout the years. During Annie, my first Summer Players show, I remember laying in the orphanage beds onstage while some of the actors performed a prologue to provide some historical context for the show. We had the opportunity to work with a dramaturg that summer who taught us about the Great Depression era in America so we could deepen our understanding of Annie’s story. I recall the slow fading of what I think was one of FDR’s [President Franklin Delano Roosevelt] fireside chats at the beginning of our first orphanage scene as the lights rose onstage. I was very young at the time so I didn’t fully understand its meaning, but I felt that it gave the show a larger significance and I know that I absolutely loved that part of the production.

    Some of my fondest memories from Summer Players took place during Mary Poppins. The set for that particular show was absolutely magical; the Banks household had two stories with a little sliding pole to get down, and the backdrop for the London skyline was a beautiful array of darks blues and purples. The whole world of Mary Poppins holds a very special place in my heart. I remember standing backstage with Nick, who played my brother, listening to “Being Mrs. Banks” and feeling the swells of emotion in Katherine Parish’s voice with great clarity. Plus, we got to use British dialects, which made me feel very proper and professional! 

    Was there an actor who inspired you to start studying acting and immerse yourself in the theatre world?

    Webb: I was first inspired to start acting when I heard Sutton Foster’s “Anything Goes” track in one of my dance classes. I had been dancing since I was three years old, but when my teachers put me in that “Anything Goes” dance number; I knew I had to learn whatever Foster was doing. I began to study all the dance breaks in famous musicals like The Producers and Wicked and begged my mom to see the shows at the Segerstrom Center for the Arts. My real entrance into the theatre world was at SCR, where I took my first acting class in the third grade. 

    Drury: I had always been a fan of theatre and acting, but I didn’t decide to start really studying it until I saw A Christmas Carol at SCR in 2012. That show (the young actors in particular) blew me away, and I immediately signed up for classes the following year.

    What have been some of the highlights from your acting classes at SCR?

    Webb: Most of the highlights of my time at SCR have been within the Players’ classes, both Junior and Teen. Throughout this past year in Teen Players, we had the opportunity to work on a multitude of different characters and text styles. I absolutely love character work, so being able to discover and embody characters like Phedre from Phedre, Estella from Great Expectations, Oliver from Oliver Twist, and more of our own creation was truly a highlight of my time at SCR. In classes at SCR, I always feel supported and comfortable to explore, which makes character work all the more exciting since there’s nothing external holding you back. 

    Drury: From improvised scenes to working in full body suits to stage combat to learning intricate harmonies, there’s never been a dull day at SCR. Most of all, though, my last ​Teen Players show, Oliver Twist, was really special to me.

    Learn more about The Wizard of Oz and buy tickets.

  • The 2019-20 Creative Teams Who Create the Worlds for Our Plays

    by 
    Beth Fhaner
     | Aug 12, 2019

    Light on Stage

    South Coast Repertory’s 2019-20 season is off to an auspicious start, as Artistic Director David Ivers and Managing Director Paula Tomei ​announced the 13 creative dream teams for the upcoming season, the first programmed by Ivers. The nearly 100 individuals are among the theatre industry’s finest, most creative and versatile talents.

    “I’m thrilled to announce the creative teams that will bring our stages to life, beginning Sept. 7, with American Mariachi for the upcoming season at South Coast Repertory,” Ivers said. “It’s inspiring, humbling and a deep source of pride to know that so many artists have committed to join our incredibly smart full-time staff. We join together with the single aim of creating a panoply of productions, built right here in Orange County, to serve our community.

    “The teams are a beautiful combination of talents from our home state and beyond. They represent the best in our industry across myriad disciplines. I hope you’ll celebrate this impressive body of individuals and join us for what I’m certain will be an impactful and entertaining season of plays,” Ivers said.

    The productions include American Mariachi by José Cruz González; The Canadians by Adam Bock; Aubergine by Julia Cho; Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst, based upon her book, with music by Shelly Markham (Theatre for Young Audiences); A Christmas Carol adapted by Jerry Patch; Fireflies by Donja R. Love; She Loves Me by Joe Masteroff, Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick; Where the Mountain Meets the Moon by Min Kahng (Theatre for Young Audiences) Outside Mullingar by John Patrick Shanley; The Scarlet Letter by Kate Hamill; I Get Restless by Caroline V. McGraw; and Dory Fantasmagory by John Glore (Theatre for Young Audiences). The casting director for all productions is Joanne DeNaut, CSA.

    Learn more about the full lineup.

    2019-20 Creative Team Members

    American Mariachi LogoAmerican Mariachi
    by José Cruz González
    Sept. 7-Oct. 5, 2019
    directed by Christopher Acebo

    music director: Cynthia Reifler Flores
    scenic design: Efren Delgadillo Jr.
    costume design: Kish Finnegan
    lighting design: Lonnie Rafael Alcaraz
    sound design: Rebecca Kessin
    production stage manager: Moira Gleason
    stage manager: Kathryn Davies
    dramaturg: Kat Zukaitis
    stage management interns: Gloria Perez, Emperatriz “Teresa” Mejia


    300x300TheCanadiansThe Canadians
    by Adam Bock (world premiere)
    Sept. 29-Oct. 20, 2019
    directed by Jaime Casteñada

    scenic design: Lauren Helpern
    costume design: Denitsa Bliznakova
    lighting design: Josh Epstein
    sound design: Cricket S. Myers
    production stage manager: Jenny Jacobs
    dramaturg: Andy Knight
    stage management interns: Janette Braggs, Teiya Dyke


    300x300AubergineAubergine
    by Julia Cho
    Oct. 19-Nov. 16, 2019
    directed by Lisa Peterson

    scenic design: Myung Hee Cho
    costume design: Myung Hee Cho
    lighting design: Peter Maradudin
    sound design: John Gromada
    video design: Yee Eun Nam
    dramaturg: John Glore
    stage management interns: June Kim, Hope Binfeng Ding


    300x300AlexanderAlexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day
    Theatre for Young Audiences
    book and lyrics by Judith Viorst
    music by Shelly Markham
    Nov. 8-24, 2019
    directed by Kari Hayter

    scenic design: Fred Kinney
    costume design: Elizabeth A. Cox
    lighting design: Andrew Schmedake
    sound design: Jeff Polunas
    production stage manager: Kathryn Davies
    production assistant: Rubén Bolívar
    dramaturg: Andy Knight
    stage management interns: Gloria Perez, Emperatriz “Teresa” Mejia


    300x300ACCA Christmas Carol
    by Charles Dickens
    adapted by Jerry Patch
    Nov. 30-Dec. 24, 2019
    40th Anniversary Production
    After 40 years, Hal Landon Jr. will be hanging up his top hat. It's the end of an era, but the tradition will continue. Don't miss Hal's final “Bah Humbug!”
    directed by John-David Keller

    scenic design: Thomas Buderwitz
    costume design by Dwight Richard Odle
    lighting design: Tom and Donna Ruzika
    music arrangement/composer: Dennis McCarthy
    sound design: Drew Dalzell
    vocal director: Dennis Castellano
    assistant director: Hisa Takakuwa
    production stage manager: Talia Krispel
    stage manager: Julie Renfro
    dramaturg: Jerry Patch
    stage management interns: Janette Braggs, Teiya Dyke


    300x300FirefliesFireflies
    by Donja R. Love
    Jan. 5-26, 2020
    directed by Lou Bellamy

    scenic design: Vicki Smith
    costume design: David Kay Mickelson
    lighting design: Don Darnutzer
    sound design: Scott W. Edwards
    video design: Adam Flemming
    production stage manager: Alyssa Escalante
    production assistant: Anna Klevit
    dramaturg: Andy Knight
    stage management intern: June Kim


    300x300SheLovesMeShe Loves Me
    by Joe Masteroff (book), Jerry Bock (music) and Sheldon Harnick (lyrics)
    Jan. 25-Feb. 22, 2020
    directed by David Ivers

    music director: Gregg Coffin
    scenic design: Jo Winiarski
    costume design: Alex Jaeger
    lighting design: Jaymi Lee Smith
    sound design: Jeff Polunas
    choreography: Jacklyn Miller
    production stage manager: Jamie Tucker
    stage manager: Moira Gleason
    dramaturg: Andy Knight
    stage management interns: Gloria Perez, Emperatriz “Teresa” Mejia


    300x300WhereTheMountainWhere the Mountain Meets the Moon: A Musical Adaptation
    Theatre for Young Audiences
    book, music and lyrics by Min Kahng
    based on the novel by Grace Lin
    Feb. 7-23, 2020
    directed by Jennifer Chang

    music director: Deborah Wicks-La Puma
    scenic design: an exciting creative collaborator will soon be named
    costume design: Anthony Tran
    lighting design: an exciting creative collaborator will soon be named
    sound design: Melanie Chen Cole
    video design: an exciting creative collaborator will soon be named
    production stage manager: Talia Krispel
    dramaturg: Kat Zukaitis
    stage management interns: Jazmin Polligner, Hope Binfeng Ding


    300x300OutsideMullingarOutside Mullingar
    by John Patrick Shanley
    March 8-29, 2020
    directed by Martin Benson

    scenic design: Thomas Buderwitz
    costume design: Angela Balogh Calin
    lighting design: Lonnie Rafael Alcaraz
    sound design: Vincent Olivieri
    accent coach: Philip​ D. Thompson
    production stage manager: Michael Friedlander
    production assistant: Rubén Bolívar
    dramaturg: Jerry Patch
    stage management intern: Janette Braggs


    300x300ScarletLetterThe Scarlet Letter
    by Kate Hamill (world premiere)
    Part of the Pacific Playwrights Festival
    March 28-April 25, 2020
    directed by Marti Lyons

    scenic design: Christopher Acebo
    costume design: an exciting creative collaborator will soon be named
    lighting design: Keith Parham
    sound design: an exciting creative collaborator will soon be named
    production stage manager: Kathryn Davies
    stage manager: Natalie Figaredo
    dramaturg: Kat Zukaitis
    stage management intern: Denise Kha


    300x300GetRestlessI Get Restless
    by Caroline V. McGraw (world premiere)
    Part of the Pacific Playwrights Festival
    April 12-May 3, 2020
    directed by Tony Taccone

    scenic design: Christopher Barreca
    costume design: Leah Piehl
    lighting design: an exciting creative collaborator will soon be named
    sound design: Cricket S. Myers
    projection design: an exciting creative collaborator will soon be named
    production assistant: Lauren Buangan
    dramaturg: John Glore
    stage management interns: Gloria Perez, Hope Binfeng Ding


    300x300ArcadiaArcadia
    by Tom Stoppard
    May 9-June 6, 2020
    directed by Shelley Butler

    scenic design: Reid Thompson
    costume design: Sara Ryung Clement
    lighting design: Elizabeth Harper
    sound design: ​Alex Hawthorn
    accent coach: Philip D. Thompson
    production stage manager: Moira Gleason
    stage manager: Alyssa Escalante
    dramaturg: John Glore
    stage management intern: Jazmin Polligne


    300x300DoryFantasmagoryDory Fantasmagory
    Theatre for Young Audiences
    by John Glore (world premiere)
    adapted from the book by Abby Hanlon
    May 22-June 7, 2020
    directed by Casey Stangl

    music director Deborah Wicks La Puma
    scenic design: Keith Mitchell
    costume design: Angela Balogh Calin
    lighting design: Karyn D. Lawrence
    sound design: Jeff Polunas
    production stage manager: Kathryn Davies
    stage manager: Anna Klevit
    stage management interns: Emperatriz “Teresa” Mejia, Janette Braggs

  • History of Mariachi

    by 
    SCR Staff
     | Aug 09, 2019
     Mariachi de Cocula Jalisco

    Mariachi in Cocula, Jalisco, in the 1930s

    Excitement is running high as our new season kicks off on the Segerstrom Stage with American Mariachi (Sept. 7-Oct. 5), a joyful, big-hearted comedy with live mariachi music. This style of music and musical group performance dates back to at least the 18th century, where it evolved over time in the countryside of various regions of Western Mexico. With violins, guitars and harps, the mariachi groups were small and not typically known outside of regions where they performed.

    The mariachi ensemble that is familiar to us today originated in the 19th century in the Mexican state of Jalisco in Cocula, referred to as “La Cuna del Mariachi” or “The Cradle of Mariachi.” In other areas such as Veracruz and Huasteca, the northeast region of the country, the ensemble evolved differently. By the end of the 19th century, the cocula or the vihuela, two violins, and the guitarrón (which replaced the harp) were considered the instruments of the mariachi.

    From the 19th to the 20th century, migrations from rural areas into Guadalajara, along with the Mexican government’s cultural promotion gradually re-labeled it as Son style, with the name of “mariachi” being used for the urban form. The musical style began to take on national prominence in the first half of the 20th century, as it received radio play in the 1920s and was used in the promotion at presidential inaugurations. By the 1950s, the mariachi was becoming more orchestral but did not lose its traditional base. The classical guitar, two trumpets and more violins were added to make the ensemble able to play different styles other than the Son style.

    In 2011, UNESCO recognized mariachi as an Intangible Cultural Heritage, joining six other entries on the Mexican list of that category.

    Learn more about the history of mariachi in this Smithsonian Folkways Recording article and with this interactive “history of mariachi” timeline.

    Learn more about American Mariachi and buy tickets.

  • Graduating Seniors Take Final Bow in "The Wizard of Oz"

    by 
    Alyssa Dong
     | Aug 01, 2019
    Graduating Seniors

    ​Joshua Myran, Olivia Drury, Mitchell Huntley and Clay Walker

    South Coast Repertory’s Theatre Conservatory has four graduating seniors—Olivia Drury, Mitchell Huntley, Joshua Myran and Clay Walker—appearing this summer in The Wizard of Oz (Aug 10-18, Julianne Argyros Stage). These young, talented performers are among the most advanced students in the Conservatory and they will all be taking the stage one final time in the Summer Players production of the beloved musical.


    Clay Walker – Hunk/Scarecrow

    Clay Walker started taking classes at the Conservatory a year ago and is playing Hunk/Scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz this summer. As he reflects on the past year, he enjoyed his final Teen Ensemble demo (a demonstration done by students at the end of the session to show --demonstrate--what they have learned for family and friends).

    “Not only were we able to give input on the writing, but we were challenged with going out of our comfort zones as actors to effectively tell the story to the audience,” he says.

    Clay feels he learned valuable lessons at SCR and feels more comfortable with himself as an actor and in life. He has grown socially and learned how to collaborate with others; he now finds ways to incorporate these skills into other areas of his life. Additionally, he will always remember the friendships he developed in his classes.

    As Clay continues to pursue ​musical ​theatre at Saddleback College ​in the fall, he will miss “the SCR teachers who have been so supportive of me in pursuing my craft.” He tells incoming students to “not be afraid of trying new things and taking risks.” 


    Joshua Myran – Uncle Henry/Emerald City Guard

    As Joshua Myran heads off to New York University to major in ​civil engineering this fall, he explains that the SCR Conservatory taught him the importance of collaborating and sharing ideas while working with a group of people. He has enjoyed learning about “listening in character” and “staying present and being there for your scene partner.”

    His advice to new students is to not worry about the acting decisions you make and not be afraid to make mistakes because it’s all a part of the process. Joshua has made lifelong friends and feels their support.

    “Meeting new people is so much easier for me now,” Joshua admits, with a smile.

    In his Teen Players class, he found it challenging to identify a direction of a character, but learned to try different directions and choose the best fit. Dedicated teachers and students ​are what drew Joshua ​to take additional SCR classes and audition for shows.

    His favorite roles have been Peter Cratchit in SCR’s annual production of A Christmas Carol and a ​Lost ​Boy in Peter Pan. Joshua completes his eighth year at SCR with his final performance this summer as Uncle Henry/Emerald City Guard in The Wizard of Oz. “SCR is where I feel comfortable being silly and making mistakes, and I will miss that,” says Joshua.


    Olivia Drury – Miss Gultch/Wicked Witch of the West

    Oliva Drury takes the stage one more time at SCR this summer as Miss Gultch and Wicked Witch of the West in The Wizard of Oz.  “My classes have taught me how to have empathy, listen, and work within an ensemble,” she says.

    These lessons also apply to her real life. Oliva says learning Shakespeare at SCR was “so cool! Getting to dig into the language and use the text as a road map was incredibly rewarding.”

    Even after taking several years of acting classes at SCR, Olivia kept returning. “There is never stagnation in SCR classes,” she says. “My development always felt very palpable and each new teacher sparked something that made acting more fun.” She will attend Northwestern University in Chicago in the fall to study theatre.

    One of Olivia’s favorite memories was being in SCR’s annual production of A Christmas Carol because that show taught her how to work as a professional and helped her realize that she will never stop evolving as an actor. She feels that all her classes helped make her a better person and develop friends that are special to her. “It’s incredible to have a group of people you can feel so vulnerable and safe around,” she notes.

    Olivia initially found it challenging to be confident enough to give herself permission to be onstage. It wasn’t until she allowed herself to be "okay with being imperfect" that her confidence grew. She will miss “everybody who made all these years mean everything to me.”


    Mitchell Huntley – Professor Marvel/Wizard

    Mitchell Huntley has been dedicated to SCR for an entire decade. Although he’s headed off to Northwestern University to study theatre and playwriting in the fall, he has learned many valuable lessons here, including the importance of “having a good work ethic and treating others in a professional setting the way you would want to be treated.”

    He attributes to his SCR experience developing self-confidence and being able to articulate his thoughts, which both pushed him out of his comfort zone. So what kept Mitchell coming back for 10 years? His personal growth, the community and the character work. “I felt like I found my place, my community and I was able to express myself. At SCR, the ensemble is the most important thing you can be a part of,” he says.

    Even though Mitchell sometimes felt challenged ​to find similarities and differences between himself and his character, he admits that SCR taught him, through the process of exploring different characters, to play them honestly. He also learned memorable things like animal work and Shakespeare, which helped him become a better storyteller. His advice for new students is “to give it your all, have an open ear and an open mind and trust the process.” Mitchell says he will miss the incredible training he got here and SCR’s focus on his growth and journey as a person.

    “It’s a lesson I’ll hold dearly and miss when I leave,” says Mitchell.

    Learn more about The Wizard of Oz and buy tickets.

    Learn more about taking acting classes at SCR.

  • Becoming “Dorothy”

    by 
    Lauren & Alyssa Dong
     | Jul 15, 2019
    Lauren Dong

    ​A young Lauren Dong (in the blue and green) as a munchkin in a community theatre production of The Wizard of OZ.

    Ruby Slippers

    Four-year-old Lauren's first pair of Ruby Slippers.

    Lauren Dong is one of 34 Theatre Conservatory students cast in the Summer Players’ production, The Wizard of Oz (Aug. 10-18, Julianne Argyros Stage). She portrays Dorothy Gale. Lauren, who is entering her senior year in high school, has been taking acting classes at SCR for eight years, since fourth grade. Donning Dorothy’s ruby red slippers and singing classic songs like “Over the Rainbow” have been part of a long-held dream for Lauren. In this blog article, she and her mom, Alyssa, talk about the path to this iconic role.

    Lauren Dong started acting and singing at seven years old at a local community theatre, her mom, Alyssa Dong, says. She even performed in a production of The Wizard of Oz—but not as Dorothy.

    “She quickly developed a love for it, and I started noticing she could sing,” says Alyssa.

    Lauren studied with different vocal coaches and, at age nine, was introduced to the song “Over the Rainbow” by one of her former vocal coaches who taught Lauren how to sing it. Lauren quickly became interested in seeing the movie and watching Judy Garland sing “Over the Rainbow.”

    The movie wowed her, Lauren says, “It stood out just because of the colors alone. And it struck a chord with me because of the unique story it told. There was something really magical about seeing the Emerald City for the first time and watching that horse change colors throughout the song. I thought ‘how are they doing that?’ ”

    But the most significant takeaway for Lauren was watching Judy Garland "sing the beloved ballad with a voice that was very mature for her age; Garland was only a teenager when she filmed The Wizard of Oz" in 193​9. Lauren had started classical vocal training at the age of nine.

    Alyssa says that Lauren has always had a special place in her heart for "Over the Rainbow," even as she continued her vocal lessons through the years.

    “Here was a young girl who was kind of like me,” ​Lauren says. She has had the movie poster hanging on the back of her bedroom door since she bought it during a trip to Hollywood at the age of 10. “It was a film I absolutely found charming and that was very dear to my heart.”

    She recently re-watched the video of her childhood performance.

    “A part of me thought ‘yikes, my voice was pitchy,’ but I found myself smiling by the end of the video,” she says. “I don’t give myself a lot of credit for the things I do, but I think looking back on that day I can now say I was proud of myself for getting up there, even though it wasn’t perfect. I loved singing that song no matter how it sounded and still do.”

    Alyssa and Lauren never thought the dream role—to play Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz—would happen.

    "She feels so honored to be cast in the part for the Summer Players’ 2019 production at SCR,” Alyssa says.

    After watching the MGM movie again and getting into ​L. Frank Baum's novel, Lauren stripped away all previous versions of Dorothy, to create an original character. Lauren says the most important word she’d use to describe Dorothy is “curious.”

    “She is a young woman seeking adventure and something greater than herself,” she says. “Throughout the story, she never ceases to display both her ambition and kindness. Eventually, she realizes that she has always had everything she needed and wanted right at home and, of course, that ‘there’s no place like home’."

    For Lauren, Dorothy is ultimately a symbol for dreams and imagination, yet a reminder that no matter how simple it may be, happiness is enough.

    Alyssa will be among the audience members to cheer Lauren—and the rest of the cast—on during performances in August.

    Learn more about The Wizard of Oz and buy tickets.