St. Michael-Albertville High School students are helping Dorothy find her way to the wizard a few more times before Thursday.
Thursday night marks the opening night of the school's fall musical, Wizard of Oz. The performance begins at 7 p.m. at the STMA High School performing arts center.
The more than 110-person cast and the musical's band is practicing its last songs and putting the final touches on the set. The cast includes St. Michael-Albertville third, fourth and fifth graders, playing the munchkins.
"The most exciting part of the year is taking a cast that hasn't been performing before, and coming together to make it through," said STMA high school student Max Rooney, who plays the Lion. "It's always very spectacular, and very exciting for me."
The senior helped the younger students with vocals, and said this production posed a new challenge because of one thing: the volume of the cast and crew.
"But just watching their faces on the final night, and when everyone is standing and the audience is clapping — it really makes you feel like all your hard work wasn't for nothing," Rooney said. "That's what I do shows for."
Senior Andrea Ohnemus plays Dorothy, Preston Kuhn plays the Tin Man and Tommy Lindquist plays the Scarecrow.
"I get to step out of the box and try something I've never done before," Kuhn, an 11th grader, said. "I think it'll be a lot of fun for all ages."
Director Ashley Budde said she chose Wizard of Oz for many reasons.
"It's such a beloved show — it resonates with old and young audiences," Budde said. "People will be excited to see something they know and love."
She added that she has been working the cast and crew hard. Her favorite moment in directing is when the students start having fun, see that their hard work is worth it, and take pride in their show — knowing its theirs in the end.
Performances are scheduled at 7 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, and at 2 p.m. Sunday.
Tickets are $8 for adults, $6 for students in grades K-12. Tickets are also available online.