Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Yellow Brick Road

The Munchkins (from left) Shirley Zaetta,
Ann Marie McCarthy, Erica Marcos, Dawn Parker,
and Marie Mack, are thrilled that
the Wicked Witch of the East is dead.  
University women present

Wizard of Oz this weekend 

Julie Brown, Staff Writer
Members of the Plymouth-Canton Branch, American Association of University Women, know a thing or two about children's theater.
Since 1959, the branch members have presented an annual children's play, with proceeds supporting scholarships. This year, “The Wizard of Oz” will be performed Feb. 6-8 at the auditorium of Garden City High School, on Middlebelt north of Ford Road in Garden City.
Kay Paupore of Canton Township, play co-director, noted the 1939 movie starring Judy Garland was among early films showcasing female lead characters. “The rest of the productions had focused on male” actors, said Paupore. “This fits with our mission, empowering women. That's what we're all about.”
Showtimes are: 7 tonight,  Feb. 6; 7 p.m. Friday, Feb. 7; and 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 8. The evening Feb. 6 and morning Feb. 8 shows will also have, 45 minutes prior to the show, a Girl Scout/Boy Scout session teaching about theater with a participation badge given.

Paupore, a retired Garden City Public Schools teacher, is working with co-director Lisa Gapa of Dearborn Heights, who teaches in the Ann Arbor Public Schools. Paupore agrees live theater offers children a different perspective from television or a movie.
“The actors do not have any do-overs,” she noted. “You have to know how to hold the audience's attention. Students are used to things being more staccato,” rapid paced, she said.
Tickets are $7 at the door, and are also available for $6 in advance online at
The scholarship money supports women returning to school or beginning post-secondary education.
Branch members often take smaller nonspeaking roles. “They still want to be part of the fun, be an animal or a guard,” Paupore said. Music helps the production, which has been updated with a theme of “Kindness.”
Said Paupore of the good witch and bad witch characters, “Words matter and actions matter.”
That theme includes such lines as “That's not very kind” or “We need to have more consideration for others.” Paupore and Gapa appreciate the stage crew at Garden City High, as well as AAUW members and their families helping with costumes, sets and more.
The show is recommended for pre-K, kindergarten and children through upper elementary, as well as their families. “We want the kids to have that experience” of live theater, said Paupore.
The cast has about 32 members, with women playing the male characters too.