Several new faces will be in the cast of 30 when the Springfield Arts Council Youth Arts Ambassadors present "Dorothy Meets Alice or The Wizard of Wonderland." CONTRIBUTED

Wonderland, Oz set to cross paths over the rainbow in Springfield

Pop culture crossover scenarios are a fun trip down the imagination rabbit hole, and even more fun to watch.

Since Wonderland and Oz reside in the same imaginary ZIP Code, you can now watch the two young girls’ incredible adventures together with the Springfield Arts Council’s Youth Arts Ambassadors’ production of “Dorothy Meets Alice or The Wizard of Wonderland.”

Over the rainbow is the John Legend Theater, 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 23 and Saturday, Feb. 24.

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Since 2016, the Youth Arts Ambassadors have presented five musicals. This show shakes things up in several ways.

It’s the group’s first non-musical, a comedy fantasy combining timeless classics “The Wizard of Oz” and “Alice in Wonderland.” Krissy Hartman of the Arts Council, who is producing the show, said the kids expressed interest in doing a non-musical and using familiar characters was a good stepping stone.

“It’s very exciting to have all these new things,” she said. “This is two popular titles that will create a fun draw for kids and anyone who loves these characters.”

The fresh feel also extends to the cast with a lot of new faces among the 30 member members. Wittenberg University theater student Kristen Fiegel has her first directing assignment with the show.

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This is also the first Sensory Sensitive performance, which makes the show more accessible to those who may be hearing- or visually-impaired, on the autism spectrum or with other challenges. The special perfomance will take place on Wednesday, Feb. 21, at 7:30 p.m.

The Arts Council did a fundraiser to have the resources available. The show will include a sign language interpreter and allowances so the sound and light don’t affect those with sensitivities to them.

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There will also be a commentator in the lobby to make the art more accessible and two special education teachers are working with the cast to help them be better prepared for this audience.

“This is a movement I’m seeing throughout the country,” said Hartman. “Making art more accessible to people is the Arts Council’s mission.”

The Youth Arts Ambassadors will have an active 2018 with a dinner theater fundraiser in May and a production of “Oliver!” this summer.

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