Lions and tigers and …you know the rest

After a largely contemporary season, which included two world premiere productions, the Omaha Community Playhouse closes out the season with a true classic. We have all have heard of The Wizard of Oz, right? Well, if not, now is your chance to come to OCP and experience this thrilling and entertaining musical that is perfect for the entire family. Come see your favorite characters such us Toto, the Tin Man, the Scarecrow the Cowardly Lion, the munchkins and so much more. Most of all, come see the one girl that brings all these one of a kind characters to life. Meet Charlotte Hedican, wait, I mean Dorothy Gale, a farm girl from Kansas, who just wants to find her way back home after a tornado drops her off in Munchkin Land.

Charlotte Hedican, who plays Dorothy Gale in the OCP’s production of The Wizard of Oz, is just your average high school Sophomore who is balancing school and a starring role. I had the opportunity to talk with Charlotte and ask her some questions about her upcoming role as she balances school and prepares for such an iconic character. 

How are you preparing for this role?
I've been listening to a lot of Judy Garland and Marilyn Monroe because I feel like they're both vulnerable, yet strong women like Dorothy.”

What are you using for inspiration?
“I watched the movie a lot, and even the 2010 BBC show Over the Rainbow. That gave me quite a few pointers. I don't have any specific personal ideas, but every actor adds their own twist to a role.” 

How do you handle school and acting at the same time?  
“School is so hard, my gosh! In fact, the day we open the show is my last day of school and last day of finals. I like to think I'm a pretty good student, but I tend to have late nights and live on very little sleep. It can be very stressful for me. Some of my teachers are helping me out though. “

Is it difficult to memorize lines and study at the same time?
Memorizing lines is a challenge because usually once rehearsal is over, I have to get to my schoolwork and rarely have time to memorize. However, I'm a quick learner and I memorize things so often, that it's pretty simple. I just have to remind myself that it will all be worth it in the end and that I enjoy it more than almost anything. I am very grateful to have this role, and wouldn't trade hardly anything for it.” 

Did you ever watch the The Wizard of Oz growing up?
“Yes, I did. My grandma passed down her love for the series to my mom, who passed it to me. My mom owns all of the books, including copies that are quite old and originally bound. I never got into the series, but I've read the original The Wizard of Oz.

What’s the most exciting part for you, when taking on this role?
“I've always wanted to have one song that was my solo, where I would be the only one on stage. So I'm excited for "Over the Rainbow." This role is also significant to the women in my family, so I'm excited to carry on the legacy of the love for this character and her story.” 

Don’t miss out on this beloved and heartwarming story. Follow the yellow brick road to OCP and help Dorothy find her way back home. The Wizard of Oz will be live on stage in the Howard and Rhonda Hawks Mainstage Theatre, May 31, through June 30, 2013; Wednesday–Saturday, 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, 2 p.m.

Tickets are $40 for adults and $24 for students. For groups of 12 or more, tickets are $29 for adults and $18 for students. To purchase tickets, or for more information, call (402) 553-0800, visit the OCP Box Office or click here.

Article by Anna Venditte

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