Weekend Showcase: Cooper High School Theater Presents ‘The Wiz’
Students at Cooper High School are putting on a production of “The Wiz” that’s like nothing you’ve seen before.
Students collaborated to use video games in the scenes as a way to freshen up the 1970s show.
“It makes it more relatable,” said Brian Espinoza, who plays the Scarecrow.
Noemi Richardson, who plays Dorothy, says the audience will see her holding a tablet with Super Mario on it moments before she’s transported into the game.
“It’s foreshadowing,” said Richardson. “I’m thinking, I’ve seen it before, but it’s something that’s new to me.”
Richardson is looking forward to the show.
“I am really looking forward to putting smiles on people’s faces. It’s telling a really big story that is really important to people,” said Richarson.
“The Wiz” is a play and movie that was groundbreaking in the 1970s. It’s a soulful spin on “The Wizard of Oz” and featured an all-Black cast.
“It’s a show of someone who is lost, trying to find their way home, but making a bunch of friends as they find their way home,” explains Jason Nyabuto, who plays the “Tin Man.”
Zayvontay Scott, who plays the Lion, says the show also allows actors to flex their acting skills. He had to develop a deep, Southern voice to portray his character.
Tin Man Nyabuto had to get used to wearing the suit that restricts his movements, and Espinoza, as the Scarecrow also had to perfect some singing and dancing skills. You’ll see all of that come to life in “The Wiz.”
“In the end, it’s really just awesome,” said Espinoza.
The show runs until Friday, March 18.