NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — Teen actors are hitting high notes and perfecting fancy footwork. But, this is more than just a spirited rendition of “The Wiz.” It’s the triumphant return of the high school musical to Hillhouse.
“When I saw the students here, that they wanted it, I just wanted to make them happy,” says Director of Dramatic Arts, Ty Scurry, who is operating with high energy and a low budget to further the school’s narrative.
“When you search up Hillhouse on Google or YouTube, you see the band, you see the basketball team, you even see the football team,” says Scurry. “My goal is that you search Hillhouse High School, you see the academic theater company!”
“I’ve always been a person of the arts. I love singing and dancing and acting and stuff like that,” says 17-year-old Senior Victoria Kirkland, who accepted the beloved role of Dorothy. “There are silver slippers to fill, you know?”
She’s easin’ down the road with 14-year-old Jack Marchand. Like his character, The Lion, the Freshman is finding his courage on-stage.
“It’s kind of scary because, if you mess up, people will know it because it’s pretty popular,” he says.
But this crew is receiving huge support…in the hallways…
“Everyone in the school is behind this show right now,” says Scurry.
And, on-set, as the young actors tell a tale that’s poignant for high school students.
“‘The Wiz’ is about a story of people who don’t know that they already have inside of themselves what they need,” says Scurry who believes this is just the beginning of something special.
There are already plans for more musicals in the future. But, for now, the kids are just savoring this iconic story.
“When you come to see ‘The Wiz,’ expect great songs, great dances, great music, expect a good time and expect to leave with something that you’ve never felt or seen before,” says Scurry.
Due to coronavirus concerns, the March 19 through March 22 performances of “The Wiz” have been postponed. The director hopes the show will happen in late April or May.
He’s told the students, “Don’t see this as a setback but as an opportunity for a great comeback.”