Elaini Crouse, a student at S. Ray Lowder, has her munchkin makeup put on during a dress rehearsal for â€œThe Wizard of Oz.â€ The students perform Tuesday. Jenny Walling / LTN Photo
The hallway at S. Ray Lowder Elementary School filled with magical creatures in colorful costumes and painted faces Thursday.
â€œHave you seen any flying monkeys around here?â€ a teacher asked as she quickly walked through.
S. Ray Lowderâ€™s production of â€œThe Wizard of Ozâ€ boasts a cast of over 50 third-through-fifth-graders, most of whom had never been in a play before.
During dress rehearsal on Thursday, students ran around teasing each other and tugging at the directorsâ€™ sleeve asking for help.
â€œWill somebody fix my ears?â€ asked Cameron Johnson, a third grader who plays the scare crow. â€œOneâ€™s sticking out and oneâ€™s not.â€
Grant Gregory, a student in the play, skipped down the hallway in a bright green costume.
â€œIâ€™m an Irish leprechaun,â€ he announced in a high pitched voice.
â€œYou look totally freaky, man,â€ said Seth Osborne, a fifth-grader.
The students were all preparing for their Tuesday night performance. The show will raise money for classroom libraries.
â€œTheyâ€™ve never done anything like this,â€ said Shanti Ammen, a third-grade teacher who directs the show along with Jennifer Sieracki.
â€œParentâ€™s are excited. Kidâ€™s are excited. Weâ€™re excited that itâ€™s almost over.â€
Keeping 50 children under control and helping them create a play has been a challenge for the two first time directors.
â€œI have not been sleeping at night. I have nightmares of props falling,â€ said Ammen. â€œI know it will work out fine in the end.â€
Students have worked hard to learn their lines and perfect their characters.
â€œI had to memorize a lot of lines, and I had to speak loud in a different voice,â€ said Hillary Emory, who plays Glenda the good witch.
Cameron, the scarecrow, had to learn the art of falling without hitting his head.
â€œHeâ€™s very stumbly,â€ Cameron said of the scarecrow. â€œI fall down three times.â€
Thursdayâ€™s dress rehearsal was the first time most students dressed in full costume and makeup. Not everyone liked having makeup smeared all over their faces.
â€œIt feels like someone just smooshed a pie in front of your face,â€ said Maddie Caldwell who plays the Tin Man. â€œItâ€™s not normal.â€
Rachel Kennedy, a fifth-grader who plays the Cowardly Lion was unsure about her costume.
â€œIâ€™m yellow,â€ she said. â€œIt makes me look like Winnie the Pooh.â€
Students who performed in S. Ray Lowderâ€™s play on the Wright brothers felt like seasoned professionals.
â€œLast time I was in a play I was the nice character, and now I want to be mean,â€ said Kyla Lawson who plays the wicked witch.
The cast has gradually made friends while practicing the play.
Students in different grades donâ€™t usually play together said Sieracki.
â€œUsually third-graders are intimidated by fifth-graders,â€ she said.
The students have made friends while rehearsing. Seeing each other in full costume and make up created a lot of giggles.
â€œPeople in Miss Ammenâ€™s class said I look silly,â€ said Cameron who had straw sticking out of his shirt. â€œIâ€™m making fun of the munchkinâ€™s costumes because they look silly.â€
The curtain goes up on the performance at 7 p.m. on Tuesday.
Tickets are $2 for adults and $1 for children six to 12 years old. Children five and under can see the play for free. by Sarah Grano