A Magical Return for Dulaney Theater


This March, Dulaney Theater Company succeeded in putting on yet another incredible production: the “Wizard of Oz” musical. The show featured live music, talented singers, actors and an enthusiastic crew. Some audience members may have been caught off-guard when the lights went down and a projection on the wall next to the stage showed a short video, edited to resemble an old-fashioned film. This mini movie, filmed on Debrabander Farms, contained the beginning storyline of the “Wizard of Oz”, and led perfectly into the first scene of the live-action musical.

Junior Mairead Debrabander starred as Dorothy in the Thursday, Friday and late Saturday performances, and freshman Bridgett Millett, Dorothy understudy, took on the role in the Saturday matinee. Both actresses blew the audience away with their stellar performances. Other cast members whose talents were especially showcased include junior Cassie Hubbard having the role of Aunt Em/Glinda, and freshman Hayley Stewart playing Zeke/Lion. Along with her soft, gorgeous voice, Hubbard wowed the audience with her roller skating skills as she glided across the stage in rainbow skates. Although it was only her second show at Dulaney, Stewart’s role as the Lion allowed her to show off her confident singing voice and acting skills, bringing a comical aspect to the performance.

However, live theater in COVID-19 times doesn’t come without its challenges. The cast and crew of the “Wizard of Oz” lost nearly a month of rehearsal time at the beginning of 2022 when Dulaney was closed or virtual. This obstacle also meant that there was minimal time to schedule bonding activities for the cast and crew. There were also challenges brought about by non-COVID-19-related issues, such as the lack of curtains around the stage due to the auditorium fire earlier in the school year.

Now that COVID-19 precautions are being lifted, a sense of normalcy is being restored to live theater. 

“It finally felt like we got to go to the theater and be in a normal space again,” said Tami Moon, theater teacher and producer of Dulaney Theater Company’s “Wizard of Oz.”

The cast was able to perform without masks, and the audience members could also drop the masks if they wished, while watching the musical.  Although we are still in this adjustment period, learning to live through a pandemic, Dulaney Theater Company can see the light at the end of the tunnel. 

“It was magical,” said Moon. “They just were better than I could have imagined. With the fire at the beginning of this year, I was like, ‘Oh my god, we’re never gonna be able to put on shows,’ and then we got to put on this amazing, spectacular musical.”

With another successful show in the books, there’s no doubt that Moon and the Dulaney Theater Company will come back stronger than ever for the fall play in the 2022-23 school year.