Theater department follows yellow brick road to gala

Welcome to Oz!

Decked out in a poufy pink dress, I waved my wand and greeted the startled guests of Upper Chesapeake’s bi-annual gala.  Standing with my fellow characters in the foyer, we were there to make it well known that they weren’t in Kansas anymore.

On Oct. 16, nine other JC students and I portrayed the famous Wizard of Oz characters. We were asked to greet guests and provide entertainment, and just be colorful characters for the party-goers to enjoy.

Kelly Vaughn as Dorothy, Elisabeth Johnson as the Wicked Witch, Conor DeVoe as the Scarecrow, Ryan Selvy as the Tin-man, Thomas Gardener as the Cowardly Lion, myself as Glinda the Good Witch and Adam Kuester, Matt Ridge, Scott and Joe Novak as the flying monkeys, we were fully decked out in costume and completely in character. This was no high school play. We had to be on our game and act professionally.

The Gala board had originally planned on hiring professional actors to play our parts.  Fortunately, the board was told that John Carroll actors were just as good as professionals.  Upon being asked to play Glinda, the famous good witch, I was ecstatic. I was even more excited knowing I’d get to wear her dress.

The Gala took place in the stunning ballroom at The Baltimore Marriott Waterfront.  The stage was covered in green crystals and there were three themed bars, representing the Lion, the Tin-man and the Scarecrow.  There was a witch’s castle, complete with a jail and center-pieces that had lollipops and Munchkin Land touches to them.  It was quite an impressive event.

After welcoming everyone, we were taken back to our room where we enjoyed VIP treatment.  There was a buffet just for us and the band. Like the high school students we are, we oohed and aahed over the Pellegrino and macaroons.  We felt like celebrities with our private room and expensive refreshments.

Later, we were sent back into the party to entertain the guests as they finished their dinner.  We posed for pictures and basically ran around being our crazy Wizard of Oz characters.  It was a blast for us, and the guests loved it.

Once the guests found out that we were only students from John Carroll and not hired actors, they constantly came up to us and expressed their surprise.  It was really gratifying to know that we did such a good job.  Plus, this was great press for the John Carroll theatre department.

Finally, cheeks aching from smiling, arms sore from wand-waving, and feet tired from walking in heels, we made our bows and left the ballroom.  Wiping off the glitter and paint, we got dressed in our regular clothes again.  Liz Johnson and Ryan Selvy gradually returned to their natural color, instead of green and silver.  Our night in Oz was over, and we all remember it fondly.

Dinsmore can be reached for comment at [email protected].