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Ammon Arts Community Theater performance of ‘Wizard of Oz’ to open Thursday

Arts & Entertainment

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IDAHO FALLS — The Land of Oz is coming to Thunder Ridge High School in Idaho Falls.

That’s where the Ammon Arts Community Theater will be staging their production of “The Wizard of Oz.” The MGM musical opens Thursday, Aug. 4, and runs through Tuesday, Aug. 9.

“We’ve been so excited to announce since last year that we’re doing this show,” AACT spokesman Chandler Dye told EastIdahoNews.com. “It’s a wonderful story, it’s the MGM (musical film) story, a classic that is involved in many of our childhoods.”

“Wizard of Oz” tells the story of Dorothy Gale, a young farm girl who is transported to a magical land. While there, she makes new friends and learns valuable lessons as she searches for a way home.

AACT’s production features a cast of 118 members of all ages, choreographed musical numbers and numerous special effects. Dye said the effects and costumes proved to be the biggest challenge to pull off.

“‘Oz’ has a lot of special effects that we’ve had to work out and there’s a lot of bright, colorful costumes,” he said. “Bright, colorful costumes are hard to find around this area. You can find vintage costumes for most shows but trying to find a bright-colored emerald green or some of the colors for the Munchkins, that has been the hardest thing.”

This play also involves characters flying around. To accomplish that feat, AACT brought in a flying crew from Las Vegas.

“This is the first time Ammon Arts Community Theater has brought in a flying crew,” Dye said. “We’re bringing in this flying crew to fly our characters and bring the magic to the stage. Flying doesn’t happen very often here in southeast Idaho. So we’re excited to be the first people to fly at Thunder Ridge.”

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Courtesy Chandler Dye

Bringing in the flying crew was costly, so AACT turned to the community, who came through in a big way.

“We raised all the money to pay for the flying in two weeks,” Dye said. “$9,000 is what southeast Idaho helped us raise. It’s really remarkable, all the people who put their heads together and thought up all the fundraising ideas and all the people who were generous enough to donate the money for that flying.”

All these efforts and expenses go into telling a story with a very powerful, relevant message,

“‘Oz’ teaches us to become more grateful for what we have,” Dye said. “Dorothy gets upset about her home life but then she realizes she has it pretty good until she doesn’t have it anymore.”

You can catch Ammon Arts Community Theater’s production of “The Wizard of Oz” beginning this Thursday, Aug. 4 at 7 p.m. at Thunder Ridge High School in Idaho Falls. The show also runs on Aug 5, 6, 8 and 9 at 7 p.m. with a Saturday matinee on Aug. 6 at 1 p.m.

Click here to purchase tickets. All proceeds from ticket sales go to support the Thunder Ridge Drama Department. You can keep up with Ammon Arts Community Theater events by visiting their website or following them on Facebook and Instagram.

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Courtesy Chandler Dye

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