As anyone who has acted on stage will tell you, there is nothing to compare to the automatic feedback of an appreciative audience. An energetic audience is particularly conducive to a good performance, because the ideal relationship between cast and audience is reciprocal; as the cast entertains the audience, the audience energizes the cast.
This is especially true when putting on a much-beloved classic like the MGM/RSC version of The Wizard of Oz. Given that most everyone who came to see the play had seen, and loved, the movie, their reactions were always good. The children especially had a grand time, laughing and clapping and crying in all the right spots.
And as anyone who has been to a play as a child will tell you, the highlight of the whole experience is meeting the characters afterward. Many even dress up for the occasion! Now, another disappointment in the drama-laden second version of the show I was in was the company's rule that all actors had to change out of their costumes before going out to greet people.
Happily, such was not the case with the Bartlett Park District and the Stagecoach Players productions, and here I would like to share some photos of the smallest and most enthusiastic Oz fans who came to see us.