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Mount Vernon City School District Presents 'The Wiz'

The Mount Vernon City School District is presenting “The Wiz” Friday, April 17 through Sunday, April 19.
The Mount Vernon City School District is presenting “The Wiz” Friday, April 17 through Sunday, April 19. Photo Credit: Contibuted

MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. – The Mount Vernon City School District is presenting “The Wiz” Friday, April 17 through Sunday, April 19 at the Mount Vernon High School auditorium.

Under the direction of Evelyn Collins, Mount Vernon City School District’s director of the arts and featuring students from Thornton, Mandela/Zollicofer and Mount Vernon High Schools, “The Wiz” is the first stage production in Mount Vernon in nearly five years.

Beginning in December with auditions, the whole district has been gearing up for the performances. Performing Arts students have diligently rehearsed creating characters, learning choreography and music, while other students have been working with the likes of Broadway costume designer Gladys James to create costumes, and lighting designer Antoinette Tynes to perfect a lighting design for the performance.

By the conclusion of the Sunday performance, this production will have seen the involvement of nearly 100 students and countless more staff members.

“This type of event is incredible because it has the ability to engage students with varying interests in the production process,” said Collins. “From acting to stage lighting and sound from costumes and music and everything in between there is something for everyone.”

"The Wiz" is a stage musical with music and lyrics by Charlie Smalls and a book by William F. Brown. It is a retelling of L. Frank Baum'?s “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz” in the context of African American culture. It opened on Oct. 21, 1974 in Baltimore, Maryland, and moved to the Majestic Theatre with a new cast on Jan. 5, 1975.

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Tony-award winning musical directed by visionary artist Geoffrey Holder.

“We are genuinely excited about this upcoming performance of ‘The Wiz.’ It is the first of many productions that will highlight the extraordinary talent of our students and staff,” said Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kenneth R. Hamilton. “The arts have been significantly compromised throughout the years and I am committed to restoring these opportunities for our students.”

Showtimes are Friday, April 17 and Saturday, April 18 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, April 19 at 4 p.m. Tickets are on sale now through Brown Paper Tickets here and will be available at the door one-hour before curtain. Ticket prices are $15 for adults and $10 for students and seniors.

The Mount Vernon High school is located at 100 California Road.

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