Weekly Feature

2018-01-17 / Front Page

Salem Theatre holding auditions for ‘The Wizard of Oz’


A new production company will transform Salem Church into the wonderful world of Oz this spring.

(See editorial on page four)

“We’ve been wanting to do something like that at Salem for a while. We have an absolutely beautiful stage and a huge space for something like this,” said production manager Alexxis Butera.

Salem Theatre will present its inaugural production in May and is planning to hold auditions next month.

The auditions, open to children ages 4 to 18, will take place at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 6, and Wednesday, Feb. 7, at the church, 114 Morgan St. in Tonawanda. There will be possible callbacks on Feb. 8.

Children who are interested in auditioning must come prepared with a song to sing, and wear clothes and shoes that are comfortable to dance in. The song must be sung either a cappella or with an individual’s own backing track on either a CD or phone/iPod.

Alexxis Butera Alexxis Butera Butera, who is a member of the church, grew up in the Town of Tonawanda and graduated from Sweet Home High School. She has experience both performing in shows and on the production side.

She says the church is good for acoustics and they don’t plan on using a speaker system except for the music. And, the curtains were sewn by a member of the church a couple of years ago.

Dyanne Ingram, Butera’s mother and the church’s Christian education director, has also helped get the production off the ground by helping with funding and production aspects.

“The Wizard of Oz” is being directed by Michayla Biemans, and rehearsals are scheduled for 6 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

“I’m really excited because a lot of people know the show of ‘The Wizard of Oz.’ They’ve heard it before; they’ve seen it,” Butera said.

The company plans to do something a little different as well. Butera noted that there are characters who are some- what underrepresented in “The Wizard of Oz” that are more represented in variations.

“So we’re pulling parts from these other shows like we’re pulling music from ‘Wicked’ and from ‘The Wiz’ to put into this show,” she said.

If the show is successful, Butera said the company plans to host a concert in the summer and a show in the fall, which will be for adults as well.

Butera is looking for people who aren’t afraid. She described the characters as “big, bold and flamboyant,” and that the actors need to be on that same level.

She is encouraging children from the area to try out.

“Doing a show is probably one of the most fun things you can do.”

Butera and Biemans’ goal is to not only put on a show but also hope that everyone walks away from it having enjoyed themselves.

The company is also looking for individuals, ages 13 and up, to serve as staff and crew. For more information, email Alexxis Butera at alexxis.butera@gmail.com.

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