posted June 2, 2001

Wizard of Oz Launches HSRT Season

The story that has charmed generations receives new life as L. Frank Baum's The Wizard of Oz opens Hope Summer Repertory Theatre's 30th season on Friday, June 15 at 8 p.m.

HSRT newcomer Marcella Rose Sciotto will be joined by some HSRT favorites and a number of West Michigan children when she takes the stage as Dorothy. Over 20 children take on the role of the Munchkins, while Sciotto finds some fun company on the yellow brick road.

Only Dana Snyder (Sylvia, Charlie Brown) can make the cowardly lion any more cowardly - and funny. The Equity Guest Artist, a favorite of HSRT audiences, joins HSRT for his fourth season. With Chip DuFord (Joseph, Chaps) dancing alongside as the Scarecrow, Dorothy is guaranteed a wild, fun trip to see the Wizard. DuFord, also an Equity Guest Artist, is back for his tenth season with the company.

But all that humor must still face the threats of the Wicked Witch, which is sure to receive a spirited portrayal from Brandy McClendon (Sylvia, Charlie Brown). Appearing at HSRT for her third season, McClendon has quickly gained a reputation for her commanding stage presence. It will take the magic of Elizabeth Loos (G.I. Jive) as the Good Witch to help Dorothy find that there is no place like home.

Director Susan Ericksen uses her skills to make this familiar story new for everyone, without losing the charm it has created by itself. In her 14th season with company as an actor (Suds, Chaps) and director (Tartuffe, Three Viewings), Ericksen has become identified as one of the reasons for HSRT's continued success.

Several shows have already sold out, so get your tickets quickly for this family musical. Showings at 8 p.m. are on June 15, 16, 19, 20, 21, 26, 27, 28, July 5, 7, 10, 12, 17, and 19. Matinees at 2 p.m. are scheduled for July 10 and 12.

While at the box office be sure to reserve tickets for the other great HSRT productions, including Neil Simon's Rumors, the popular Educating Rita, the moving tragicomedy Orphans, a rock n' roll version of Shakespeare's The Two Gentlemen of Verona, and the cabaret show at the Via Maria restaurant, He Loves, She Loves. In addition, the Children's Performance troupe is presenting The New Kid and a recent adaptation of The Ugly Duckling.

Tickets are available now. The ticket office is located in the DeWitt Center, on the Hope College campus at the corner of 12th Street and Columbia Avenue. Prices range from $8-$24 for musicals, and $6 to $18 for plays. Season coupons are also available and offer several ways to save money for the whole season. Ticket office hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday; noon to 5 p.m. on Saturday; and one hour before all show times. Tickets may also be purchased by calling (616) 395-7890.