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JSA students rehearsing 'The Wizard of Oz'

Students in the Jackson School of the Arts are busy rehearsing for the fall show "The Wizard of Oz." This production is being done entirely by JSA students from the performance, to building the sets, to making the costumes.

And regardless of the COVID-19 pandemic — THE SHOW MUST GO ON!

Due to Ohio Department of Health restrictions, there will not be a live performance of "The Wizard of Oz" for the public. However, in an effort to bring the show to our community, the Jackson School of the Arts has established a way for those who want to see the show to do some from the comforts of their own home. By October 19, viewers will have the option to purchase a link to view a recording of the JSA version of "The Wizard of Oz." More information will be shared at a later date as the details of purchasing that link become available.

This year's show will differ from the traditional Wizard plot. Our JSA students are incorporating the current conundrum that exists in today’s education. In this fall's show, young Dorothy (portrayed by Emma Maier) is torn from the comforts of her home, where she is nurtured by her family, Auntie Em and Uncle Henry, to embark on an emotional journey of confusion, self-doubt, and finally self-realization. On her way to the land of Oz, she meets the empathetic Scarecrow, who embraces overt kindness and tradition, the Tin Man, a technological guru who has to be reminded that compassion and connections are the heart of all we do, and the Cowardly Lion, who just does not know which way to turn. Lion is so well-meaning but so confused. He tries to do the right thing, to learn from the new ways, but he is terrified by change and losing his grip on the affective benefits and comfort of the way things have always been done.

More than anything Dorothy just wants the Wizard of Oz to help her to return to the love and comfort of home and familiar traditions. However, on her journey she finds that her new friends, who have encouraged her to see the future in a new way, and to expand her horizons, have become her family. Maybe, just maybe, her future becomes a composite of tradition and the new way, and that realization, in tandem with the love of friends and family, truly is what makes home, home. No matter how she is impacted by change and circumstance, Dorothy learns there really is no place like home.

We hope you will find the time to watch this version of "The Wizard Oz" and look forward to sharing our the talents of our students with you.