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The Wiz opens tonight at TSU

Written by on October 8, 2021

By Bradley Clark, Mario Dunham and Zy’riah Simmons (contributors)

The Granville M. Sawyer Auditorium was filled with joy and laughter as Texas Southern University’s theatre program prepared for its Oct. 8-10 performances of The Wiz.

Within the storied auditorium, hungry, eager, and engaged students worked around the clock over three weeks to put the entire production together.

Cast of The Wiz

When asked what he enjoyed most about returning to TSU to work with theatre students, dance choreographer Hindolo Bongay spoke about the cast’s character.

“We all have our own lives, but everyone took the time to really commit to the show and make sure it will read well to the audience,” Bongay said.

He continued, “You can relate the Wiz to all the way back to now, every show is different, and every director brings a different vision.”

Each director has his or her own vision for how a production should be produced, and given the time constraints, it’s impressive that the cast and crew have been so committed to putting on a great show.

Trevor Mouton, a senior who plays Tin Man, spoke about how the cast has been a very close-knit group, which has aided in making the process run smoothly given the short amount of time they have had to prepare for their performance.

“We are family backstage, there is no drama as much as someone might perceive a drama department to have, we have with each other and feed off of each other’s energy,” Mouton said.

This demonstrates the cast’s commitment to putting on an incredible performance for the audience at the Wiz.

As KTSU2 interviewed everyone, the words “opportunity, change, and new challenges” kept coming up.

The Wiz is a unique opportunity for every cast member to be involved in something truly special. Some have not been on the stage since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.

Quentin Wilburn’s introduction into the world of acting and theatre echoes the sentiments of others finding a new side of themselves, following an era of uncertainty, pain and turmoil.

“Self-discovery, I’ve learned that I had to get out of my comfort zone. I’m always shy to do things and always shy to speak what’s on my mind. I’m very thankful that this theater department brought out something in me I never discovered for my whole life,”  Wilburn said.

He spoke as if the show had brought out more than he could ever discover of himself. Wilburn, alongside other cast members delved deeper into their characters and the theater department itself.

“To believe in yourself, that’s what the whole show is about,” Mouton said.

The crew must believe in themselves as they attempt to put on this show in three weeks.

The crew, actors and director have worked hard to make The Wiz possible for the Texas Southern University community to enjoy. With all the preparation, this show will be nothing short of amazing, and the cast is hoping for a strong turnout.

By Bradley Clark, Mario Dunham and Zy’riah Simmons are in Texas Southern University’s Introduction to Reporting class.