New Castle News

School Musicals

March 6, 2013

Photo Gallery, Story: ‘Ease on down road’ to see ‘The Wiz’

NEW CASTLE — When the curtain goes up Friday night at New Castle High School, Matt Priscilla will be attending his first play.

By the way, he also will be starring in it.

Priscilla, a senior, is cast as the scarecrow in “The Wiz,” a musical based on “The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz” by L. Frank Baum.

Performances will be 7:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $7 for adults and $5  for students.

“It’s been great fun,” said Priscilla, who decided to try out this year. He didn’t audition for a particular part, leaving that up to the director.

“I didn’t go to last year’s play (“High School Musical”), but all the kids were talking about it,” he said.

While he has never before acted, Matt has performed before an audience. He is a guitarist and singer for an alternative pop/punk rock band called “Drop The Act.”

Karmin Dando and Joye Piscitella are directing their fifth spring musical at New Castle High. “Matt had a phenominal audition,” Dando said. “He’s so talented and embodies the part of the scarecrow.”

Priscilla is playing the role made famous by the late Michael Jackson in the 1978 film version.

“That’s a little intimidating,” said Priscilla, who plans to study business and finance next year at Robert Morris University. “I like how my character is portrayed. He’s intelligent, but doesn’t know it.”

Priscilla said singing “I was Born on the Day before Yesterday” is a personal highlight of the play.

While Priscilla is a newcomer, Allyson Hood is a decorated veteran.

The outgoing Hood, also a senior, believed she was more suited to playing the role of Evillene, the bad witch, but ended up at the other end of the spectrum, portraying Dorothy

Dando said Hood is comfortable in almost any role. “She’s played just about every thing you can imagine,” Dando said. “Allyson is in every scene and she is an incredible actress.”

“I always like to make the best first impression I can,” said Hood, who wants to major in communications and lists Point Park, Kent State and Slippery Rock as her tops college choices.

As an underclassman, Hood said she went to more experience performers to seek advice. “Now they are coming up to me,” she said. Hood said her favorite song in the production is “Home.”

“I love this show because the music is so much fun,” said Dando.

There were some challenges, too, like figuring out how to melt a witch and putting students on their knees and on wheels to protray Munchkins.

The response during audition was so large that 50 students could not be accomodated and had to be turned away.

“That’s never happened before,” Dando said.

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