Story, photos and video by Jo Mathis
AAPS District News Editor
Haisley Elementary staff and students will be off to see the wizard next week when they fill Forsythe Auditorium for the Haisley Players’ production of The Wizard of Oz.
About 80 students in grades 1-5 make up the cast and crew.
Musical theater has become part of the Haisley culture, said Principal Kathy Scarnecchia.
“The Haisley Players have offered wonderful, enriching experiences for many of our students over the past three years,” she said. “Parent volunteers have made this one time dream a reality. Our community so enjoys the productions and we all hope they will continue for many years to come.”
The Haisley Players was formed when two former Haisley parents, Andrea Jacobson and Patty Mazzola, recruited parents to form the group of volunteers dedicated to making large-scale, musical theatre experiences available to students.
Students are allowed to participate in the show as cast or crew—their choice, said parent volunteer Suzanne Copsey, who has two sons in the play.
“There is no fee to participate,” she said. “All we ask is that families volunteer their time to help make the show a reality. Fourth and fifth graders do audition for the main parts, but everyone is given a role.”
Each spring, one major production is produced and performed, with past performances including Willy Wonka Kids, Alice in Wonderland Jr. and Schoolhouse Rock LIVE! Jr.
“A small army of parents, volunteers and school staff also help bring the show to life,” said Copsey. “It’s really a great grass-roots effort.”
This year’s production of the Wizard of Oz is so large, it’s moving to the Forsythe Middle School Auditorium to meet the demand for seats. In the past few years, it’s been standing room only at Haisley.
Performances are Thursday, March 17, at 10 a.m. and 7 p.m.; and Friday, March 18 at 7 p.m.
The daytime performance on March 17 is free, and all are welcome.
Tickets for the evening performances are $7 in advance and $5 at the door. All tickets will have assigned seat numbers.
The Haisley Players are made possible with the help of the Haisley PTO funds. This year’s musical is produced by Haisley parent Andi Rich, artistically directed by Porscha Kazmierczak, and musically directed by Haisley parent Michelle Schrag.
Watch a few moments of the dress rehearsal this week: