Wizard of Oz plot becomes all too real for Jeffersonville High School

Tornado warning during high school's rehearsal

JEFFERSONVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) -- A wizard, a scarecrow and a tornado warning.

Wednesday morning on Good Morning Kentuckiana, students at Jeffersonville High School were giving us a preview of their Spring Musical when a new round of storms triggered a brief tornado warning for that part of Southern Indiana.

Ironically the Spring Musical is the Wizard of Oz, the classic story of Dorothy getting swept up by a tornado.

“Everyone knows who Dorothy is and so you have this character to come into,” explained Ali Wasdovich who plays Dorothy in the musical. “It's not as easy as it seems because everyone knows who she is, so you really have to sell it to people.”

This is the first year Ali has been in a Jeffersonville High musical, and with a main role. She's jumping right into big shoes...Well, sparkly shoes.

"I love the jitterbug. The jitterbug is not in the movie, it is my favorite scene. Especially after it, when I get swooped up by the monkey. It’s a really fun number. It's been incredibly hard to learn, but it's coming along and it's amazing,” explained the student.

Right as our crew was getting ready for live preview of the musical, the plot became all too real as tornado sirens started. Teachers worked quickly to move students to safety. Once there they made the best of a bad situation, singing songs from the musical in the basement hallway.

"This is so Jeff High Theater, but you know what? We are down for whatever. Anything,” said KeNiesha Zell, the Theatre Teacher at Jeffersonville High School.

When students climbed back upstairs they were ready to fly above all the obstacles, and they did. Flying across the stage is a big part of the musical.

"Over there we have our fly crew, and we have lift operators,” explained Ellie Melin, who flies as Glinda the Good. She joined us on her 17th birthday to tell us how it all works.

"The people who are hooking you up, they have to pat you on the back two times and then give a thumbs up to the lift operator before you have to go up to your pre-set. It's so cool to learn this new skill, because I never imagined that in my high school years, that I would be doing this,” said Ellie.

It takes a lot of trust. “At the beginning I was little bit scared and nervous, but there definitely is trust because we are a family in this theater department. We always have each other’s back no matter if we're on the ground or in the air,” said the student.

Luckily the warning passed with no damage, but it was a good example of how to act quickly when you hear tornado sirens.

The Wizard of Oz will be playing the following dates: Thursday (3/2/17) 7:30, Friday (3/3/17) 7:30, Saturday (3/4/17) 7:30, and Sunday (3/5/17) 2:30

You can buy tickets at the door. 

© 2017 WHAS-TV


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