“The Wiz” Inside Edition


Terry Holman, Student Life Editor

“You know, I can understand why a child like you… wanting to go to.. Brazil, Mozambique, Amityville, but Kansas?”

When I was reminded that we have a school play coming up, I instantly knew that I wanted to be part of the stage crew. I started talking to the directors to see when the stage crew would be needed. My group and I were on the top of the list when the opportunity to come to the first meet was listed. What was the stage crew in charge of? We were in charge of a lot of things. While the drama cast was preparing and practicing their lines, we were creating props and leaving the cues on the lights, curtains, and props. 

The first thing we were tasked with was the yellow brick road. The next thing was costumes. These were all typical stage crew tasks. This was my first year being involved in theater, but it is an experience I will never forget. My first thought was, “I’ve never been at school this long after the bell.” We were at school until 4:30 every day until tech week. Then the times extended later. Stage crew had about two weeks to finish the props and costumes, which wasn’t a lot of time. 

We came every day after school, Monday through Thursday. As I stated before, this was my first year being involved. I had no idea what to do or what would be happening, and neither did most of the crew. Thursday, we stated all of our jobs and what we would be in charge of. We had the spotlights, the sound in the back. Backstage was prop managing, set moving, and curtain opening and closing. However, I was also tasked with managing the cast and making sure they were ready with mics and everything else we needed for opening night. 

Before we knew it, it was opening night. We made sure the stage was set and helped the cast get into costume, making sure all of their props were where they needed to be. I helped Abates set the mics up and alerted the cast at what time it was. The more time passed, the more nervous the cast grew. I knew they would do amazing as I saw the hard work, commitment, and dedication each and every single cast member gave when it came to preparing. I also knew that the stage crew was ready to do everything we needed to do. 

“Five minutes to open house!” “Thank you 5!”

Probably the most exciting, but nerve-racking sentence we heard all week. The cast was putting on their final touches. Then we got the announcement for places. Backstage settled into our spots and glanced at each other. We were ready. The band started playing. After an amazing, but amazingly long overture, the curtains opened and the play started. 

The first mishap had to do with microphones. A cast member, not naming names, tripped on the curtain during the prologue. The microphone box disconnected and went flying to the middle of the stage. The biggest problem was they were going on soon. I ran to Abate, unsure of what to do and he had no extra microphones. I talked to the cast members to find out who was going out and we decided who the hero was going to be. After a grueling five minutes, I got the box and ran backstage. I attached it and we were ready yet again. 

Everything ran pretty smoothly after that. I will say however, that I got more cardio that day than I had gotten all month by running up and down the auditorium. The next problem was yet again a mic. The cast member started singing and we looked at each other and realized their microphone was not on. Luckily, they were able to project. During intermission, I made sure to tell the cast to double-check their mic is on before going out. However, when they went out again and it wasn’t on. It turns out, there was a disconnect. Despite those, it was an amazing night and the cast got out all of their anxious tics and went home to prepare for the next day. 

The second show ran smoothly. We kept the props close when needed and smoothed out any kinks that were shown the previous night. After the 2 hour play, the cast and crew were growing tired, but nevertheless excited for closing night. We set up for the next play and then took a well-deserved rest. Eating lunch we all laughed and prepared ourselves. This was it. This was going to be the best one yet. 

“Places in 5!” “Thank you 5!” 

The lights turn off, the band starts playing, and the audience hushes. We all look at each other and give reassuring nods. We were ready. After the overly long overture, Dorthy ran out on stage. It had started. The cast had a lot more fun performing in this play. They were a lot more comfortable and even did some improvements, sliding in some jokes to make the audience laugh. After intermission it hit, this was the last hour of drama this year. This was it for the seniors. When Dorothy started clicking her heels, we all started crying. The crew and cast looked at each other and held hands as the curtain started closing. 

This was probably the most emotional I have ever gotten in relation to school. We all entered the stage after the curtain calls and celebrated with each other. We had done it. There was not a dry eye on the stage. We had put weeks, days, and hours into this play. Each and every one of us had gained something during these few months. Whether it be a couple of new friends, a new passion, or even confidence, we were all able to take something away from this. 

When the stage crew was told to come on stage, we ran out. We were overwhelmed with joy that we had done it. The weeks of work we put in, learning together something new and scary, had finally paid off. Stage crew is often not seen in theater plays; they are not recognized. I cannot say that this was the case. Everyone, the cast, and directors, were so supportive. We were included in everything that the cast was able to do, we were part of the drama. And on closing night, they made sure we knew we were seen. I can’t tell you the number of hugs and thank yous and congratulations we had gotten that night. 

To be honest, I’ve never felt as included in a school event as I did during that entire experience. I mean this when I say it, I adore every single person I met and worked with over the past couple of weeks. This is something I am so glad I was able to do, not only for myself but for the people around me. I met so many amazing people that I wouldn’t have met otherwise. This is definitely something I will be doing again next year. Our hard work paid off and I cannot wait to see what we come up with next year. 

Three clicks of your heels and you’ll be home. I’ve come to realize, drama is my home. <3

Enough with the sappy stuff. What we need to focus on who is who!

Over the past couple of weeks, I’ve worked with some amazing people and they deserve recognition! Here’s a list of the cast, crew, and directors!:


All of stage crew helped create props and costumes!
Terry Holman (Tri-M): Head of Stage Crew/Prop Master: Junior
Terrone Fearon: Spotlights: Sophomore
Juliana Fernandez: Prop Table: Freshman
Kyra Lee: Curtains/Set Moving: Sophomore
Kristen Preza: Spotlights: Sophomore
Khalil Pryce: Set Moving: Sophomore
Rene Santos (Tri-M): Spot lights: Senior


Melissa “Melli” Fearrington (Tri-M): Dorthy: Junior
Daniel Glasgow-Yarde: Cowardly Lion: Freshman
Hugo “Juice” Morales: Tinman: Senior
Kerrick Satahoo: Scarecrow: Senior
October A. “Toby” Baumgartner: The Wiz: Junior
Tae’Sia English: Evillene: Freshman
Jonathon J. “Triple J” Jacas: Gatekeeper/Henchman: Senior
April K. “Ace” Kenny: Addaperle: Freshman
Aaliyah Trinity (Tri-M): Glinda/Ensemble: Junior
Jay Tisk: Lord High Underling: Freshman
Carla Benitez: Ensemble: Freshman
Monica “Silas” Contreras: Ensemble: Senior
Gabriella Cruz: Ensemble: Freshman
Paola Flores (Tri-M): Ensemble: Freshman
Ava Lynn: Ensemble: Junior
Madelyn Martinez: Ensemble: Freshman
Dahniya Robinson: Ensemble: Sophomore
Ryan Rose: Ensemble: Junior


Carl J. “CJ” Ferrara: Director
Sandra “Sandy” Whitney: Assistant Director

~Pit Band~

Piano: Carl J. Ferrara
Bass: Nicolas Barenklau
Reed 1: Nicolas Fajek
Flute: Yaneli Amaya (Tri-M), Jeffrey Sorto (Tri-M), Messiah Marshall (Tri-M)
Oboe: Tatiana Martinez (Tri-M)
Clarinet: Kenneth Garcia (Tri-M)
Alto Saxophone: Justin Mohan (Tri-M), Victoria Preza
Reed 3: Kenneth Murphy, Donovan Graham McRae
Reed 4: Jonathan Hart
Trumpet 1: Joseph Porcelli
Trumpet 2: Mario Martinez
Trombone 1: Jose Coto
Drums: Jude St. George

A special shout out to the seniors!!!

Rene Santos
Hugo Morales
Kerrick Sahatoo
Jonathon Jacas
Monica “Silas” Contreras
Yaneli Amaya
Jeffery Sorto

As I mentioned earlier, I loved working with each and every person in the crew, cast, and pit band. They’re all amazing people and within them, a found a second family. This was one of the best high school experiences I’ve had and I will for sure be joining stage crew next year!