By Lanier Laney
The four performing arts — drama, dance, band and chorus — offered at Beaufort High School have worked together to perform their first production, “The Wiz.”
This musical was originally produced in 1974 starring Stephanie Mills, and is a way for the students to celebrate the 50th anniversary of civil rights.
LaRaine Fess, Beaufort High School drama teacher and the director of “The Wiz,” said, “We wanted to include the community so Aunt Pearlie Sue (Anita Prather) is the Wicked Witch of the West.”
She added, “We also wanted to include students from other schools so we have 20 little ones playing Munchkins and Winkies.” They are from Coosa Elementary, Beaufort Elementary, Whale Branch Elementary, Mossy Oaks Elementary, Bridges Preparatory, Beaufort Middle, Lady’s Island Middle and St. Peter’s Catholic School.
There are more than 100 students involved in the show and they have been rehearsing since January.
“Our productions are student-run productions,” said LaRaine. “We have students as stage managers, lights, sound, prop master, run crew, costume, makeup — you name it and a student is doing it or has done it.”
The band, led by Mr. Nate Drake, is amazing! Teresa Baker is the musical director along with Jordan Norris.
The lead roles — Dorothy, Tin Man, Lion, Scarecrow, The Wiz, and Addepearl — are all drama IV students and they are also involved in the anti-bully program, “When You See Something Say Something.”
LaRaine said, “The majority of the students who are leads are triple threats — they can sing, dance, act or sing act, and or play an instrument.”
The show had a great opening last weekend. “The Wiz” will be performed at 7 p.m. Thursday, March 20, Friday, March 21, and Saturday, March 22 in The Arts Center at Beaufort High. Tickets are $8 for students and $10 for adults.
It’s a super show, don’t miss it!