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Sooke children’s production plans trip to Oz

Production runs April 22-23 at Sooke Community Hall
Performers with the Amber Academy Youth Fine Arts Society rehearse for a 2019 production of the Lion King. The Amber Academy presents The Wizard of Oz on April 22 and 23. (Contributed - Amber Academy)

Nothing beats the buzz a live show generates for performers and audiences.

“The kids are super excited about the opening night of The Wizard of Oz,” said Keli Dunn, executive director for the Amber Academy Youth Fine Arts Society in Sooke. “Everyone’s worked so hard and can’t wait to bring back the excitement you only get with a live audience.”

Although this marks the fifth year the academy has produced shows, last year’s shows were limited to virtual performances because of pandemic restrictions.

“We started rehearsals in January for this show smack amid the last wave,” Dunn said. “We had to deal with some challenges with people getting sick, but we’re in the home stretch now, and things are looking good.”

About 70 kids ranging from kindergarten to high school participate in the show, including performers and those behind the scenes in making costumes and building sets.

“There’s a lot of preparation for every show,” Dunn said. “The version we’re doing is called the MUNY version, created for municipal theatre in St. Louis. The first stage version was adapted after the 1939 movie and follows the book more than the movie.”

Several characters from the movie are missing from the MUNY version, and some new ones might be unfamiliar to people who have only seen the movie, Dunnn said.

The Wizard of Oz is presented on April 22 at 7 p.m. and on April 23 at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. at the Sooke Community Hall, 2037 Shields Rd.

Tickets cost $12 for those 16 and older and $7 for seniors and children and available at I.D.A. Forbes Pharmacy Sooke or online at A limited number will be available at the door.

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About the Author: Rick Stiebel

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