Youth take over stage at OFP this weekend

Dress rehearsalsfor The Wizard of Oz continued this week in preparation of the youth performances set for Friday-Sunday this weekend at Old Fort Players in Fort Madison. Photo by Chuck Vandenberg/PCC

Editor’s Note: OFP staff has postponed The Wizard of Oz due to unforeseen circumstances and will only show “The Rehearsal” this weekend. All online ticket sales will be refunded and a free will donation is requested for admission. Show times will remain the same.


FORT MADISON – The Fort Madison community theater program is being turned over to the kids this weekend.

The Old Fort Players stage goes to the kids starting Friday evening with two short plays, ‘The Wizard of Oz’ and ‘The Rehearsal’. starting at 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday July 23 and 24th and a 2 p.m. showing on Sunday, July 25.

Who knows what will happen with some seasoned and not-so-seasoned children taking over the stage at the theater at 725 Avenue G.

A cast of about 20 takes the audience down the yellow brick road as the cowardly lion, tin woodman, scarecrow, Dorothy and Toto look to get an audience with an even-more childlike wizard to fill in “short-comings” of the cast.

The sponsor for the summer production is the United Way of the Great River Region.

Aida Troutman “Dorothy” oils up the “Tin Woodman” played by McKenzie Daly in the early goings of the Old Fort Players Youth showing of “The Wizard of Oz” during a dress rehearsal Wednesday afternoon. Sofia Gilbert helps as “Scarecrow”. Photo by Chuck Vandenberg/PCC

When the Wicked Witch of the West, played by Aubrey Davis, can’t seem to shake the sophomoric, yet heroic, group of misfits, she brings in the dreaded winged monkeys, played hilariously by Chloe and Cassidy Smith, with some creepy winged costumes.

But all ‘may’ go according to script with the melting of the witch and the reuniting of Dorothy and her Auntie Em.

After a 15-minute intermission, Mallory Troutman and Sydney Amberger lead a troupe of actors through a rehearsal for an upcoming musical.

As the two deal with all the egos and posturing of each cast member to take the lead of the musical, a compromise rules the day.

Rosie Strickland plays a hip and funkie Darrel, and then quietly slips into the role of Jessie, while Juniper Strickland battles her for the top spot in the dance musical.

A full cast works up a musical and dance number during “The Rehearsal” which is the second show of the OFP youth actors Wednesday afternoon. Live shows begin Friday at 7:30 p.m. Photo by Chuck Vandenberg/PCC

Olivia Shields and Oscar Bauswell appear as Guy and Morgan to lead other cast members vying to seize control of the ad hoc production.

Richar Abel is the director while Kim Albers tries to wrangle the stage with actors as young as four years old.

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