News

SCSU powers "The Wiz"

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Christian Arias, a sophomore from Melrose, in his role as the Lion in the GREAt Theatre production of

Christian Arias, a sophomore from Melrose, plays the Lion in "The Wiz",

Photo of Casey Schmoll '11 in the GREAT Theatre production of  Christian Arias, a sophomore from Melrose, in his role as the Lion in the GREAt Theatre production of  Danielle Simbo, first-year student from Brooklyn Park in her role as Evillene in the GREAT Theatre production of  Photo of Guy Armel Gahungu in his role as the Tin Man in GREAT Theatre's production of  

GREAT Theatre’s production of the “The Wiz” is powered in part by St. Cloud State students, faculty and alumni.

The musical runs through Oct. 30 at the Paramount Theater in downtown St. Cloud.

Casey Schmoll '11, Lake Lillian, who plays the Scarecrow, and first-year student Nick Benner, a chorus member from St. Cloud, are veteran GREAT Theatre performers.

The show was choreographed by Debra Leigh, coordinator of the university's Community Anti-Racism Education Initiative.

Other St. Cloud State people involved in the production include:

  • Guy Armel Gahungu (Tin Man), a first-year international student from Burundi
  • Christian Arias (Lion), a sophomore from Melrose
  • Danielle Simbo (Evillene), a first-year student from Brooklyn Park
  • Steph Bates (chorus), a sophomore from Champlin

Meet the cast on the GREAT Theatre website.

The 1975 Broadway version won seven Tony Awards, including Best Musical. Music and lyrics by Charlie Smalls and book by William F. Brown. It is a retelling of L. Frank Baum's "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" in the context of African American culture.

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