Home Leisure & Sports Nashville Children’s Theatre presents Shelby Smith as Dorothy in “The Wizard of Oz”

Nashville Children’s Theatre presents Shelby Smith as Dorothy in “The Wizard of Oz”

by Cass Teague
The cast of The Wizard of Oz.

Follow Dorothy Gale into the magical land of Oz with her dog Toto where they travel down the Yellow Brick Road and learn the value of having a heart, brains, courage and friendship. Doors to “The Wizard of Oz” open at 6:30 p.m. CT on November 17 at the Nashville Children’s Theatre (NCT).

PRIDE readers and local theatre aficionados may recall seeing Shelby Smith, a Lipscomb University theatre major from Murfreesboro, last November 11-14 in Nashville Repertory Theatre’s production of “Ragtime.” At that time she was starring in her first stage production since beginning her college studies in fall 2020, playing Sarah, the romantic partner of Harlem pianist Coalhouse Walker Jr.

“We like to try new things at the Nashville Children’s Theatre,” said NCT’s Executive Artistic Director Ernie Nolan. “You won’t find the same thing on stage here as you may at other places. We like to uniquely cast our actors in roles you may not traditionally think they would play and incorporate exceptional elements that amaze crowds. We work hard to make sure this is an experience for children, and adults, that they are unlikely to encounter anywhere but at NCT.”

This production of “The Wizard of Oz” will feature puppetry from Jesse Mooney Bullock, who also worked on “Peter Pan” with NCT earlier in 2022. Additionally, actor-musicians will be found on stage throughout the production bringing music to life for the audience.

Important cast notes include that Megan Murphy Chambers will be playing a female Wizard and James Rudolph will be portraying a male Wicked Witch of the West. Nashville Scene’s “Performer of the Year” Jennifer Whitcomb Olivia will also be joining the cast as the Lion.

The cast are as follows: Shelby Smith, Dorothy; Matthew Carlton, Uncle Henry/ Multiple Roles; Corrie Maxwell, Aunt Em/ Glinda/ Multiple Roles; Megan Murphy Chambers, Professor Marvel/ The Wizard/ Multiple Roles; Ben Friesen, Scarecrow/ Hunk; Gerold Oliver, Tin Man/ Hickory; Jennifer Whitcomb Olivia, Lion/ Zeke; James Rudolph, Almira Gulch/ Wicked Witch of the West; Jonah Jackson, Multiple Roles; and Richard Daniel in Multiple Roles.

The play was written by L. Frank Baum with music and lyrics by Harold Arlen & E.Y. Harbug and a book adaptation by John Kane. The show runs from November 17 until December 23 of this year. Additional information about the show can be found at http://www.nashvillechildrenstheatre.org/wizard-of-oz-2022

Nashville Children’s Theatre is a professional theatre company providing the children, families, and educators of Middle Tennessee with extraordinary shared theatrical experiences that inspire imagination, develop creativity, and build community.

NCT was founded in 1931 by the Junior League of Nashville and is recognized as the oldest professional children’s theatre in the country. A national leader in professional theatre arts and education programs for young people, NCT is ranked by TIME magazine as one of the top five children’s theatres in the country. For more information including specific performance dates and times, please visit NashvilleCT.org.

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