St. Luke's United Methodist Church has a great little space in the basement. The Poteet Theatre is nestled snugly and comfortably into an intimate and warmly welcoming place. And while the space may seem small, artistic director Jay Prock mounts extravaganzas there that work.
One of the most ambitious projects to date is L. Frank Baum's beloved “The Wizard of Oz,” under the expert direction of Shawna Linck. The stage production is an adaptation by Frank Gabrielson with the music and lyrics from the movie by Harold Arlen and E.Y. Harburg.
Although the stage production must lack the special technological effects from the movie, the live performance gives the characters a greater emotional connection, and that presence ignites the imagination.
Linck directs and choreographs a large cast of varied age and experience with well-orchestrated results. Favorite characters from Baum's stories and the 1939 movie come across as perfect representations, and the actors achieve a high degree of integrity. Cast and crew bring with Dorothy's dream of a land over the rainbow and her journey home a lot of fun for the audience.
Brenna Betz plays Dorothy Gale with delightful innocence and vocal purity. Kristin Stang is the beautiful Good Witch of the North, and she is quite distinctive from the warmhearted Auntie Em Stang also plays.
Debbie Kessler does Miss Gulch with stereotypical accuracy. Translating into the Wicked Witch of the West, she establishes a distinctive, yet familiar character that brings the role to life.
Tim Wall as the Scarecrow is as fluid and funny as he can be. Eric Bradford is the Tinman wearing the heart he thinks he does not possess on his sleeve of armor. Daniel Yates as the Cowardly Lion is delightful. David Parker is the kindly Uncle Henry, and he becomes a perfectly empathetic guard at the gates of the Emerald City.
Randall Hunter is the Wizard of Oz after appearing as the wise and down and out Professor Marvel of the gypsy caravan traveling through the Kansas prairie. The little dog Toto, who seems to cause such trouble, is played by Alex Malone.
Alex is an animal-assisted-therapy dog certified by HALO (Human Animal Link of Oklahoma), and his acting ability is augmented by excellent behavior and delightful expressions. The munchkins, flying monkeys, citizens of Oz and all the other characters are given dynamic life by the many young performers.
— Elizabeth Hurd