Actors -N- Theatre In Cuyahoga Falls (ANTIC) opened its season with the family gala "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" July 27 in Newell Theatre. This show is the first in a season of two shows, with the second being "Rehearsal For Murder," which is scheduled to open in November.

The show runs through Aug. 5. Friday and Saturday evening performances have an 8 p.m. curtain, while the Sunday matinees begin at 3 p.m.

The summer family gala is the non-musical version of "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" and will be managed by a 30-member cast, crew and staff consisting of volunteers from in and around the Cuyahoga Falls area.

The co-directors, Liz Hickman and Mary Kay Dente, are lifelong residents of Cuyahoga Falls and also sit on the board of ANTIC. They have worked together on many ANTIC productions in the past and have brought together a talented cast for this show.

The part of Dorothy will be played by Angie Austin, a Kent State University student who is pursuing a musical major. Toto, who is played by 8-year-old Sydney Partridge of Cuyahoga Falls, will be a constant companion to Dorothy in this production.

Kyle D. Downing, a recent graduate of Stow-Munroe High School, will be handling the roles of Hunk and the Scarecrow, while Stephen Bergeron will portray Zeke and the Lion. Tom Nahodil, who has a KSU theater degree, will play Hickory and the Tin Woodsman, while Lynn A. Brown, of Cuyahoga Falls, will portray Glinda the Good Witch.

Professor Marvel and The Wizard of Oz will be played by Steven Wright, a Cuyahoga Falls resident and a veteran of theater in the area. His young daughter, Julia, will be a dancing munchkin and poppy. The Wicked Witch and Miss Gulch duties will be managed by Dawn Myers, whose son, Drew, is the student director and daughter, Molly, is a dancing munchkin and poppy.

This cast is multi-generational, as the story of "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" is ageless. The youngest dancing munchkin and poppy, Audra Rosenthal, is entering kindergarten in the fall, while many of the other actors have contributed more than their acting ability for this show.

Art Bergeron of Cuyahoga Falls is not only taking on the role of Uncle Henry, but he will manage sound for the show. Fallsite Mary Beth Clemons, while performing as a fighting tree and a flying monkey, has lent her talents as the dance captain under the direction of Cuyahoga Falls resident Karen Sauerbrey, the show's choreographer.

Other Cuyahoga Falls residents that have been cast in the play are Kelly Schrack, who plays Aunt Em and Guardian of the Gates; Schrack's daughter Maggie Zimmerman is playing a fighting tree and flying monkey; Heidi Vance, who plays the Mayor of Munchkinland and a poppy dancer; Abigail Lange, who is playing a munchkin and poppy dancer; and Hannah Hall, Amanda Abood, Autumn Ratliff and Hannah Clemons are playing both fighting trees and flying monkeys.

"The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" is a non-musical version of the L. Frank Baum novel "The Wizard of Oz." This is a family-oriented play, as life lessons are learned as Dorothy discovers there's no place like home.

Tickets range in price from $8 for adults, $7 for students and $5 for senior citizens and children 12 and under. No reservations are required. All tickets are sold at the door.

ANTIC Inc., is a non-profit community theatre which resides on the third floor of the Quirk Cultural Center, in the Newell Theatre at 1201 Grant Ave., Cuyahoga Falls.

ANTIC is always looking for volunteers to assist with productions. All experience level of actors, directors, staff and technical personnel are needed. The goal of ANTIC is to make theatre a place for everyone to enjoy.