“That we must look inside our hearts to find a world full of love,” Lamar high school student Laia Blackman, playing Dorthy, will sing on the auditorium stage in February of 2022.
All students at Lamar had the opportunity to audition for “The Wiz,” a student-organized musical production. Auditions were Oct. 4-5, after school from 3-4 p.m. in the auditorium and choir room. Organized into three different sections, students would first sing a 1-2 minute portion of a piece (put together before auditions), and dance a choreographed routine (given to students during auditions). If a student was asked to callbacks, taking place on the 6th and 7th, the acting portion of auditions would be conducted.
“I want to represent who we are as a campus…,” theater teacher Patrick Holcomb said. “We want everyone to feel seen and heard. It really creates an atmosphere of being inclusive,”
“The Wiz” was initially chosen because when it was first released, it was considered a cultural phenomenon. The African-American performers allowed all to feel welcome, and Holcomb said this was a feeling the theater program hoped to recreate in this year’s production.
Holcomb said the theater teachers paid the most attention to singing. After this came dancing, and finally, as it is the easiest to manipulate on stage, acting. Dances were learned as a group within the first 25-30 minutes of auditions, and were choreographed/taught by drill team leader Lori Woods.
Blue Curtain member Hannah Head said the energy during auditions was positive, and students were generally excited and anxious.
“I really liked the people, surprisingly enough,” Head said. “I didn’t think there was going to be such an outcome. The people there were really positive and really excited to be a part of something,
Head said she has always really loved acting.
”It never really mattered what I was doing as long as I got to perform again,” she said. “But, the energy of the room just amplified all of those feelings, which helped everyone feel that support whether it was needed or not.”
Unlike other fine arts programs, “The Wiz” audition process didn’t change much due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Holcomb said the largest difference this year was tha paperwork and signup forms (for claiming a spot in the auditions) were online.