Mancos students present the show 'Oz High'

Players attempt to address school stereotypes, offer a little advice

The Mancos High School drama class will present Oz High, The Wizard of Oz with a Twist, on May 6 and May 7 at the Mancos Opera House. Enlargephoto

Courtesy photo

The Mancos High School drama class will present "Oz High, The Wizard of Oz with a Twist," on May 6 and May 7 at the Mancos Opera House.

What if Dorothy was transported to a modern day high school instead of Oz?

This is the premise of a spin off of the The Wizard of Oz, called Oz High, written by the Mancos High School drama class, as a collaborative project.

The students tried to address classic high school stereotypes including jocks and metal heads and delve into the things beyond the label people don't see, said Anthony Reiners, a senior who will be reciting his own poetry, as the narrator.

The play begins in Kansas like the classic tale, but instead of a scarecrow, a tin man and cowardly lion, Dorothy encounters a kid without a brain, a metal head and a jock.

The wicked witch of the west is interpreted as a cheerleader who is the wicked witch of the west wing, which is a spin on the west wing of Mancos High School

Each character faces their own challenges. The dumb kid faces pressure from his parents, the metal head faces rejection from girls, and the jock is secretly a coward.

They all find what they are searching for, but you must go to the play to glimpse a peak at the students' interpretation of the great and powerful Oz.

Drama teacher Amy Morrison encouraged the students to write a play together because they would take greater ownership of it.

"It went surprisingly well," she said.

The students started the process by improvising scenes from the original story line as if they were happening in a high school. This gave them a starting point.

The finished product is meant to be an entertaining mix of the modern and the classic with wisdom sprinkled in.

"There's a lot of good advice, not just for the scarecrow and the tinman, but for everyone," said Taryn Gordanier, cast as Dorothy.

The Mancos Opera House is hosting the show May 6 -7 at 7 p.m. Adult tickets are $5, student tickets are $2 and children 4 and under get in free. Opening night at 5:30 p.m. appetizers will be sold before the show as a fundraiser for next year's production.