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Wellington Celebrates The Wiz Opening Night

16 June 2016

Wellington Celebrates The Wiz Opening Night

On Wednesday June 15, Wellington College International Shanghai was proud to hold the opening night of its second College musical ‘The Wiz’, starting with an electrifying emerald green themed cocktail reception. Presented by 36 pupils, from year 8 through to year 12, the musical was a retelling of the classic Wizard of Oz story, set to Motown music, which was made famous by Michael Jackson and Diana Ross in the film version of the show.

In a bizarre plot filled with fantastic characters, Wellington performers impressed the audience by showcasing their professionalism and dedication to the performance. “Easing on down” the yellow brick road, the audience immersed themselves in the wonderland and experienced the adventures of Dorothy, the Tinman, the Scarecrow and the Lion in their fight against the evil witch and their encounters with the Wizard. 

As Michael Larsen-Disney, director of Performing Arts at Wellington College said, “this is the third opportunity I have had to “Ease on Down the Road” as director of the Wiz. My love for the story started when I was 16 and played the Tinman in the original version of ‘The Wizard of Oz’ in Australia. The mix of Motown music and more up to date dialogue makes this retelling more accessible to a modern audience and is designed to spellbind a whole new generation of theatre goers”.

The past year at Wellington symbolises another outstanding year for the school’s performing arts and music programme. Following on from two key musical productions, ‘Dick Whittington and His Cat’ in December and ‘Alice in Wonderland’ in March, ‘The Wiz’ finished the year with a summary of what have been provided by our pupils to showcase their development, talents and potential in music and arts.

Aimed at being the best specialist training school around the world, Wellington’s performing arts and music curriculum is specifically designed to help pupils have a better understanding of themselves and to appreciate how the arts connects with other disciplines.

As a community event open to the public, this kind of production is not only presented as a school musical entertaining Wellington friends, but for the wider Shanghai community to enjoy.  

At Wellington schools, the values we insist on and commit to, provide a holistic education for the pupils. Sustaining academic excellence serves as the stepping stone to explore more opportunities for pupils to structure, develop and reflect on what they have learnt. Through performing on the stage, rehearsing and acting, pupils are able to build up confidence, develop team spirit and strengthen multiple skills essential for success in an ever-changing world.

Gerard MacMahon, Master of Wellington College International Shanghai said, ‘The opening night performance was thrilling. The music, dance, costumes and staging were almost professional in quality.  I’m sure our pupils will remember their trip to OZ for the rest of their lives. ’ 

The college would like to extend its gratitude to everyone who has worked hard to make this show happen. With a series of exciting productions planned for next year, the future is bright at Wellington.