Staff editorial: Poor planning leads to shortage of seats for the fall production of The Wizard of Oz

JagWire staff

The drama department chose to perform The Wizard of Oz as its fall musical production. Unfortunately, many students and staff members were unable to see the performance as all the shows were sold out within three days after being offered to the general public, with Saturday, Nov. 12 never being offered since it sold out in the pre-sale offered to family of cast members.

The shortage of tickets was disappointing to much of the student body. Our drama department has a reputation for excellence, and it’s natural that a majority of students would have a desire to go see the fall musical.

On top of the fact that a high quality show was almost guaranteed, The Wizard of Oz is the quintessential Kansas story. An incredible amount of Kansan stereotypes resonate from the original 1939 movie. It should have been anticipated by both the administration and drama department early on that there would be more prospective theater-goers than normal for the production.

The possibility of adding new shows at the last minute was considered. In fact, two additional shows were approved by administration, but they were dropped because with such short notice it wasn’t probable to have the entire cast make arrangements to accommodate a new schedule.

Another reason tickets were hard to come by is that our theater has become too small for the student population. It’s a nice facility and students are appreciative of it in general, but as our school grows it is no longer fitting our needs. Obviously we cannot just build a new theater, so other measures must be considered in order to prevent the shortage of available tickets. However, if the school board were to advocate an item for a future bond issue, a larger, renovated theater should be considered.

The best possible solution would have been to add extra shows from the beginning. Four shows was just not enough opportunity for everyone who wanted to come to have a chance to see the show. Two years ago when the drama department put on Beauty and the Beast as the fall musical, there were seven shows. Beauty and the Beast appealed not only to high school students and their parents, but also elementary and middle school students. The Wizard of Oz should have fallen under the same category as Beauty and the Beast and been considered a family-friendly production that would have appealed to a wide audience.

We understand that it was not possible under the circumstances to include additional shows along with the predetermined dates for The Wizard of Oz. In the future, the drama department and administration should consider not only what shows to perform but also how wide the demographic is they appeal to in order to prevent further dissatisfaction from an otherwise wonderful production.

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