Hannah Smith plans an inclusive Oz

The young Murray Bridge theatrical producer will soon hold auditions for her biggest show yet.

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Local theatre producer Hannah Smith looks forward to presenting her first show at Murray Bridge Town Hall this June.

But she’s even more excited about the confidence her young cast and crew will gain, the friends they will make and the skills they will develop as they rehearse it.

“Our hope … is to see a change in confidence within the cast members,” she said.

“The most uplifting thing is watching people grow, not necessarily by delivering the perfect performance, but by overcoming challenges to work up the courage to perform and develop social skills they will need in the future.”

Auditions will be held in three weeks’ time for Hannah Catherine Productions’ Oz!, a musical re-telling of L Frank Baum’s book about Dorothy and her adventures in a magical land.

Up to 30 actors between the ages of 12 and 25 will be needed to fill roles in the show.

The production will be as accessible and inclusive as possible – every role will be open to actors of any gender, and cast members with limited mobility or in need of other support will get it.

“Theatre is for the imagination,” Ms Smith said.

“It doesn’t need to be exactly the same (as the 1939 film); people don’t need to be the same character; you don’t need to be white to play Dorothy.

“It’s really interesting when people put on shows that are different to the original … it gives people different experiences.”

So don’t expect to hum along to Over the Rainbow when the curtain rises on this show.

It features original numbers by American composer Bill Francoeur and a script by playwright Tim Kelly.

Dorothy will wear red Converse All-Stars.

Young people from as far afield as Mannum, Palmer and Adelaide have already expressed an interest in roles with the production.

Ms Smith invited anyone interested in having the time of their lives to audition.

“It’s going to be the greatest month and a bit of your life and it’ll be something you’ll wish you could keep on doing,” she said.

“It’s such an opportunity to meet great people and have a lot of fun.

“You meet some of the best friends of your life doing theatre.”

Besides, she said: if you could stand in front of an audience wearing tights or glitter, you could do anything.

Auditions will be held at Murray Bridge Regional Gallery between 9am and 5pm on April 17.