Kids can get up-close look at Tecumseh’s ‘Wizard of Oz’ cast

March 06, 2018
  • By Pam Cottrel
Dorothy’s Ruby Slippers at the Smithsonian Institution. Contributed photo

We are all spoiled by those cushy multiplex cinemas with the reclining chairs and the huge screens.

But when it comes to dramatic presentations, it just doesn’t get any better than live theater, be it on a stage, in the round, or out under the trees. The personal chemistry of live theater is electrifying.

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As Tecumseh High School Theatre prepares for its presentation of “The Wizard of Oz” from March 16 to 18, young drama fans will have a wonderful opportunity to meet the characters up close and personal a week before the play.

On Saturday, March 10, from 9 to 11 a.m., children are invited to have Breakfast with Dorothy at the Park Layne Elementary School Cafeteria.

And Dorothy won’t be alone.

Accompanying her will be the Scarecrow, Tin Man, Cowardly Lion, Glinda the Good Witch, the Wicked Witch of the West, and the great and powerful Wizard himself.

Dare we hope for Toto, too?

Organizer for this creative event is Regina Jones, a teacher at Donnelsville Elementary and Dorothy’s mother, or should I say mother of Julia Jones who portrays Dorothy?

Jones and others got the idea for this fundraising event from her daughter’s happy experience meeting Belle and the other student actors in “Beauty and the Beast” at a similar breakfast many years ago. It was a magical experience and it’s hoped that this event will be great fun for a new generation of theater lovers.

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Admission is $5 at the door. Children attending Breakfast with Dorothy will be served a doughnut and milk or juice. Characters will present a short scene from the play then be available to talk with the children, sign autographs and have photos taken.

“We thought that it would be a good time for people to take photos with the characters,” said Jones, pointing out that after a play, it’s often too crowded to take photos and see the costuming up close.

According to Jones, tickets for the actual play at 7 p.m. March 16 and 17 and 2 p.m. Sunday, March 18, are selling fast.

“They will try to have musical tickets for sale at the breakfast if they are still available,” Jones said.

Tickets may still be available online at and in person Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays at the Tecumseh Auditorium from 5 to 8 p.m.

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If tickets are no longer available, at least the littlest folks may get a nice introduction to musical theatre at Breakfast at Dorothy. And if my little grand kids are typical, it may be more compatible with toddlers’ attention spans anyway.

Director of Tecumseh’s “The Wizard of Oz” is Melissa Willardson. Justin Hoke is assistant director and choreographer is Megan Holbrook. Munchkins will be played by elementary students from all the Tecumseh elementary schools.

Middle school students are also involved and will be helping with the breakfast wearing their Wizard of Oz T-shirts.

I love it how the entire school district seems to be involved with this production. Giving students a variety of ways to express themselves through the arts, sports and academics is fantastic and I applaud the district for such a great effort.