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We're off to hear the Wizard!

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Brian Rogers, left, Nic Simmons and Chris Sitler, right, play Kansas farmhands and Dorothy’s friends the Lion, Scarecrow and Tin Man in “The Wizard of Oz Live Radio Drama.”
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Bud Hoppes-Rains works the foley sound effects station during dress rehearsal for “The Wizard of Oz Live Radio Drama” at the Guyer Opera House. Lacee Dolehanty and Kat Ivey are also foley artists during the play.
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Jameson McGrew, left, plays the Wizard of Oz and Jenny Lansinger, right, is Dorothy in “The Wizard of Oz Live Radio Drama” at the Guyer Opera House.

By TRAVIS WEIK - tweik@thecouriertimes.com

Prepare to get blown away by “The Wizard of Oz Live Radio Drama” next weekend at the Guyer Opera House.

The story follows Dorothy – and her little dog, too – as they try to get back home after a tornado drops their house in the magical Land of Oz.

This version of the classic tale is presented as a live radio show in the Guyer’s lower level Aurora Studio.

Act 1 of the radio drama takes place on “A Farm in Kansas,” while Act 2 plops the audience squarely in “The Land of Oz.”

Jenny Lansinger is playing Dorothy. Carrie Mena will take a turn as Miss Gulch and as the Wicked Witch of the West.

Jameson McGrew is the titular Wizard of Oz. Ciara Huckeby will voice Glenda the Good Witch. Lacee Dolehanty plays Toto.

Robert Prince is William Keeley and Uncle Henry. Nick Taylor will be Winkle, Guard and Doorman and Kat Ivey is Libby Collins.

Penny Sitler is Aunt Em and Paula Stone; Chris Sitler is Hickory, Tin Man and the Announcer; Nic Simmons is Hunk and Scarecrow; Brian Rogers is Zeke and Lion.

Bud Hoppes-Rains, Ivey and Dolehanty will provide sound effects for the play as the foley artists.

Evan McGrew is the play director. Pianist Judy Hubbard is musical director.

Evan McGrew has directed many plays at the Guyer. He said a radio show production is a little simpler when it comes to blocking, or moving actors around the stage, than a more traditional play.

When it comes to a radio show, however, timing is everything.

“It more about timing the sound effects with the actors,” Evan said. “Getting the timing right so that there is a flow to the action and it’s not choppy.”

Evan said it is also important to make sure the actors remember which voice belongs to which character.

Evan McGrew also has the chance to direct his father, Jameson, in The Wizard of Oz Live Radio Drama.

Evan said his dad has always been a big fan of the Wizard of Oz and has played the part of the Wizard two times before.

Jameson McGrew is 89 years old and isn’t sure he’ll be able to do another play after this one, so The Wizard of Oz performance means that much more to him and Evan.

“Directing him as the wizard is something special for me,” Evan said. “It’s fun and exciting working with him! I’ve been in many plays with him over the years, but this one is special!”

“The Wizard of Oz Live Radio Drama” premieres at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 14, with encore performances at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 15 and 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 16.

Concessions will be available before showtime and during a 15-minute intermission between acts.

Visit www.guyeroperahouse.com to reserve seats. Tickets are $12 for adults and $8 for students.

The Guyer Opera House is located at 110 W. Main St., Lewisville.