COVID-19 causes bump in Dorothy’s Yellow Brick Road

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Lamar High school’s “Oz!” the musical has been postponed, due to a surge of COVID-19 cases, and has been rescheduled for March 31, April 1 and April 2.

“A lot of it had to do with COVID cases, and we just had so many people gone,” stage manager Hannah Head said. “Our lead was knocked out, I was knocked out, so a lot of people were unable to come to rehearsal.  Of course because of that, not everything was prepared and performance ready,”  

Despite the setback, theater teacher Patrick Holcomb looked for a positive outcome.  Students have been provided more time to prepare for the musical, and, if the original dates were still set, Arlington’s recent freezing weather would have caused the musical’s audience to be devoid of onlookers. 

“I’m actually pretty relieved that it was postponed,” Isaiah Robinson, cast to play the Cowardly Lion, said.  “Everybody was sick, and we were definitely not prepared, so it kind of feels like this huge cloud of stress just disappeared…everyone has been able to lighten up a bit.”  

More so, students and staff participating in the musical are expected to put their health first.  People are encouraged to wear facemasks, asked to regularly wash/sanitize their hands, and remain socially distanced if and when possible.  

“We also are making sure people are drinking plenty of water with the start of a new Flu season and all of the allergies going around,” Head said.

Holcomb still confidently expressed his excitement to produce “Oz!” and has become more confident in his students with the extra allotment of time. 

“I really love this musical because it brings all of the fine arts together,” Holcomb said.  “We have choir, band, orchestra, dance and theater working with us this year, so it’s really a community project that has brought us lots of talent that’s not necessarily always on stage.” 

The original cast still remains: Laila Blackmond as Dorothy Gale, Emiliano Gutierrez as the Scarecrow, Gavin McWethy as the Tinman, Isaiah Robinson as the Cowardly Lion, Zoey Simpson as The Wiz, De’Jah Wallace as Aunt Em, Brook Anders as Addaperle, Imani Mongaka as Evillene, Adi Astorga as Glinda, Isaac Taylor as Uncle Henry, Desmond Stroman as Lord High Underling, and Andre Williams as the Messenger. 

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