Sunriver Stars Community Theater Celebrates Ten Years with Oz!

Tickets are now on sale for the Sunriver Stars Community Theater (SSCT) highly anticipated, all-ages production of Oz! The dazzling musical based on the book by L. Frank Baum will take place October 14-16 at The Door Three Rivers. Tickets are $17 for adults and $12 for children 18 and under.

The production is the final of the Stars 10th anniversary season, which was preceded by The Odd Couple (Female Version), a Ukraine benefit show and STARS Kids Drama Camp. During the camp, children learned parts and songs for the show and were invited to join the adult cast. The exciting rendition of the well-loved classic celebrates how far the community theater has come, as well as its continued efforts to bring performing arts to local youth and bridge the gap between young and old.

“Ten years ago we had nothing but a passion for live theater — look at us now,” said SSCT Founder and Artistic Director Victoria Kristy. “We have stages, lighting and sound equipment, costumes and props and most importantly, a loyal family of talented performers, directors and supporters who continue to ‘reach for the stars’.”

Kristy and husband, Alan Zalewski, grew from Sunriver vacationers to “snowbirds,” and soon realized there was one thing missing from the idyllic town, a community theater. Kristy had spent more than 40 years directing children’s theater in Arizona, California and Washington — it just wouldn’t feel like home until she had a creative outlet, and thus, in 2012 Sunriver Stars Community Theater was born.

“Community Theater plays an important role in regions where people are often separated by distance,” said Susan Evans Inman, an SSCT board member who has been acting with the group since inception. “Here, in Deschutes County, the Sunriver Stars are giving actors and their audiences a chance to enjoy and learn from the magical world of theater.”

Inman is especially excited to be part of the quartet of female muscle in the show, playing Glinda the Good Witch of the North.

“She is a kind, wise, thoughtful, patient, helpful, but strong woman — I’d like to be like her,” Inman said.

Oz will get a feminine touch being played by Joyce Tittle, while Iva Lent will cackle for the Wicked Witch of the West, and according to Director Kristy, she was made for this role. Rounding out the main female characters will be vocal coach and SSCT newcomer, Rae White, as Dorothy.

“Besides the privilege of playing this iconic character comes a rare connection to her personality traits — I’m thrilled to find how much Dorothy feels like an extension of myself,” White said. “She describes herself as small and meek and growing up, there were some who regarded those traits I naturally exhibited as hindrances. However, as I’ve grown to embrace them, I now feel as Dorothy does. That gentleness and compassion are strengths, that bravery doesn’t depend on stature. And that sometimes, you have to fight for confidence.”

Having just moved to the area, White has rekindled a passion for theater and is thankful to be part of a cast with so many like-minded individuals.

“What better way could there be to make new friends,” she said. “They brought me in and made me feel appreciated, just as the citizens of Oz did for Dorothy when she found herself in a new place!”

The musical tells a familiar story from the timeless Wizard of Oz tale, with a few not so well-known characters and scenes. A cyclone carries Dorothy and Toto to the magical land of Oz. When Dorothy’s house squashes the Wicked Witch of the East, she is ecstatically thanked by the liberated munchkins and given permission to wear the witch’s powerful slippers.  From there, Baum’s lovable characters — rubber-legged Scarecrow (Dave Schmerber), Tin Woodsman (Doug Griffin) and Cowardly Lion (Ron Pugh) — join Dorothy on a fantastical journey to meet the great Oz. Pugh’s real life dog, Kenda, will take on the role of Toto.

Show Details

October 14-15
Showtime: 7pm, doors 6:30pm
The Door Three Rivers
56885 Enterprise Dr.
Sunriver, OR 97707

October 16
Matinee: 2pm, doors 1:30pm
The Door Three Rivers
56885 Enterprise Dr.
Sunriver, OR 97707


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