Marc Buckhout/The Foothills Focus
Starlight Community Theater debuts its upcoming season with the Wizard of Oz, opening at 7 p.m. Friday in the Safeway Center plaza located at 3655 W. Anthem Way Suite 119 in Anthem. To view more photos from Starlight's rehersals of The Wizard of Oz go to facebook.com/thefoothills.focus.

Starlight takes crowd to Oz


Christian Graca wants theater enthusiasts to know that there’s no place like Starlight Community Theater.
Graca is the director of the theater’s season debut, The Wizard of Oz, set to run Friday – Nov. 18 with 14 performances.

“You can’t stray too far from the main story, but we’ve added some humorous current references to keep the audience on its toes, but the show is a classic with the story and the music. People will end the night singing the songs as they leave,” she said.
The show is a family affair as Savoy Graca, 14 and Thomas Graca 17, are starring with Savoy performing in the roll of the Wicked Witch and Thomas playing the part of the Scarecrow.
“This show has sentimental meaning for me,” Savoy said. “The first show I ever did was Wiz. When I was 6 I played the part of a munchkin.”

For a less than physically imposing Savoy, who jokes about her lack of height, playing the roll of the intimidating Wicked Witch has been a fun challenge.
“I’m working on being as mean as I can,” she said. “Even when we’re not rehearsing I’m still trying to work on it. It’s fun.”
Thomas Graca said he was initially more interested in working on the tech side, focusing on the sound for the show, but is excited he made the decision to perform.
“I love the physicality of the role,” he said. “The Scarecrow is always jumping around, falling down. It’s tough on my knees, but that’s okay.”
He said he also loves the chemistry the group of actors have.

“We really click together,” he said. “We’re friends and that makes things a lot easier. You know better how to help each other. I can improvise and they’re on top of it.”
Quincy Janisse is making her Starlight Theater debut playing the role of Tin Man.
“I like his character because I think even though he doesn’t have a heart he shows heart in the way he acts,” she said. “I think all the main characters are ones people can relate to. People all doubt themselves at times, but you watch them work together to get over their problems.”
Savannah Wilson, who plays the role of the Cowardly Lion, agrees.
“It’s just a fun show with a good message,” the 16-year-old said. “No matter how old you are when you see it I think it takes you back to your childhood.”
Riley Watkins, 15, is making the trip all the way from Glendale to perform as Glenda, the Good Witch.
“When I got the role I cried,” she said. “This is the biggest role I’ve ever had. The cast is great, the costumes are great and so is the music.”
Kaitlynn Wilmott, 17, who said she would one day like to be a performer on Broadway is similarly excited to be in the show, playing the role of Dorthy
“This is the last performance I’ll have in youth theater and I’m so happy this is the show,” she said. “Since I was a little kid I’ve always loved the Wizard of Oz. It’s been my favorite show forever.”
Tickets are $15 for adults and $12 for children.
Starlight Community Theater is located in the Safeway Center, located at 3655 W. Anthem Way Suite 119 in Anthem.
For information go to starlightcommunitytheater.com.