More than 50 children from several area school districts are participating in the Summer Children’s Theatre production of the “Wizard of Oz” on July 8, 9 and 10 at the Paxton Theatre in Bainbridge.
The kids range in age from grades 1-12 and are lead by Hillsboro residents Jeff, Jenna and Emma Horick.
“The Wizard of Oz: Youth Edition” is based on the 1900 novel written by L. Frank Baum. The MGM film “The Wizard of Oz” premiered at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in Hollywood on Aug. 15, 1939. In 2011, this one-hour adaptation, based on the 1987 Royal Shakespeare Company’s live-stage version, was created with music and lyrics by Harold Arlen and E. Y. Harburg.
“The Wizard of Oz” will be the largest event produced at the Paxton Theatre since local benefactors Tim and Deb Koehl donated the Paxton Theatre facility, and all its contents, to the nonprofit foundation currently overseeing its operation. The donation follows extensive renovations and upgrades over a seven-year period.
“By donating the Paxton Theatre back into the community that has loved and supported it for the past 110 years, we can bolster community involvement and guarantee the longevity of this integral part of the area’s art and musical culture,” Tim Koehl said. “I once heard long ago that if you love something so much that you want it to last forever, you must give it away.”
Members of the Paxton Theatre Foundation board of trustees are excited to bring “The Wizard of Oz” to the Paxton Theatre stage.
“Summer is always an exciting time here with the sights and sounds of the Children’s Theatre Program filling the building. We’re so thankful for the continued dedication and hard work of the Horick family, and so many others, that make this such a success every year,” said Paxton Theatre board member Bev Ross.
Doors open for the evening performances at 6 p.m. on Friday and Saturday with the show starting at 7 p.m. each night. Doors open for the afternoon performances at 2 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday with the show starting at 3 p.m.
Tickets are $12 for adults and $8 for children 12 and under. Tickets and additional information are available online at paxtontheatre.org, or by calling 740-634-0029.
The Paxton Theatre is located at 133 E. Main St., Bainbridge. For more information, visit www.PaxtonTheatre.org.
The new Paxton Township Hall, completed in 1910, featured a large theatre seating more than 500. Early shows included live theatre, movies, minstrels, vaudevilles, magic shows and other entertainment. The early ’60s brought the start of the Paint Valley Jamboree, currently operating in its 57th continuous season. Today, the Paxton Theatre offers a variety of live, family-friendly entertainment to audiences young and old.
Information for this story was provided by the Paxton Theatre Foundation.