CYT is off to see ‘The Wizard’


Dorothy is a role Abby Drake has longed to play.

“I’ve loved ‘Wizard of Oz’ since I was tiny,” Drake said. “Judy Garland was my hero, so I cried when I found out.”

The 17-year-old Westfield resident will play Dorothy in the Christian Youth Theater’s production of “The Wizard of Oz,” Feb. 8 to 10 at Marian University.

Drake, a homeschooled junior, is performing in her fourth CYT production.

“This is the most lines I’ve ever had and there are only two times where I’m not on stage,” Drake said. “And dancing in heels is rough.”

Gavin Stewart, a seventh-grader at Carmel’s Clay Middle School, is cast as his favorite “Wizard of Oz” character, too.

“I always wanted to be the Cowardly Lion,’ Stewart said. “The Cowardly Lion is very animated, and I have a lisp I do, it’s fun to be over-exaggerated.”

As a sixth grader, Stewart played Toto in Clay’s production of “Wizard of Oz.”

Christian Baltz, a Carmel resident and an eighth-grader at Merle Sidener Gifted Academy in Indianapolis, is cast as the Tin Man.

“I wanted to be one of (Dorothy’s) three friends,” Baltz said. “It’s such an iconic show and when you get to play an animated character in a dreamland, it’s a lot of fun.”

Baltz said he likes playing iconic roles, having played Ralphie in “A Christmas Story,” for Theatre on the Square, now The District Theatre.

Guerin Catholic High School freshman Marci Marcus, a Carmel resident, is playing the Scarecrow.

“I thought I would have to play it as a man, but they said they keep my gender,” Marcus said. “My dad showed me the show and I completely fell in love with it.”

This is her ninth CYT show and one of her larger roles.

“It’s a more musical role,” Marcus said. “I love plays a little more because I think acting is one of my strong points.”

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