Maddie Matthew takes the stage in ‘Wizard of Oz’

Emma Bascom, Opinion Editor

De Soto High School’s fall musical this year was ‘The Wizard of Oz’. With all the craze that went into making the show a success, one senior stood apart from the rest.

Maddie Matthew played the beloved character of Dorothy Gale from Kansas.

“Last year I only had one or two scenes where I just spoke, but this year I’m in every scene. It’s just a lot more – like, a lot more. But that’s exciting and makes me nervous at the same time,” Matthew said.

The 2013 musical put on by DHS was Crazy For You. In that show, Matthew played the lead’s mother, so, naturally, getting the lead one year after was a major step forward for Matthew’s on-stage career.

However, being in the spotlight was not the only success for Matthew.

As this is his first show at DHS, Jason Hagg, theatre director, had the privilege of Mary-Etta Copeland, vocal director, and taking the extra time to make sure that Matthew was right for the role.

“A lot of it was her vocals. Some of our casting was really done on voice and I had to rely and lean on Mrs. Copeland for that and say “sure,” or “I agree” because I need to know from her what the kids can do,” Hagg said. “Some stuff was obvious to me. I’ve been to enough shows and been around enough shows so that I know and you can tell. From that I just kind of said “Hey, this is a big deal and I’m kind of relying on you,” I know Mrs. Copeland really liked her voice and thought she could do it and it worked.”

Vocals is not the only thing Matthew brought to the show, according to Hagg.

“I know Maddie has a big role. Everyone knows what Dorothy looks and sounds like and is and I think that’s a pretty big role. It’s kind of like being Cinderella. Everyone knows what Cinderella is. She just brings a lot. She’s brought a lot of her own personality to the show and I think it’s just been really good. She’s made me smile like every day,” Hagg said.

Copeland agrees that Matthew bring a lot to the show. Not only in personality, but with “people’s preconceived notions of what Dorothy looks like, with her dark hair and facial features. The word that comes to my mind is a very innocent sound. Very young,” Copeland said.

Copeland also had the opportunity to work with Matthew in her Madrigals class outside of the show.

Having Matthew in class made the process “easier. She’s worked very hard from the very beginning and stepped up and out to do some things she hadn’t done [in class] before.”

Before the show premiered, to say Matthew was ‘nervous’ was a major understatement.

“It sounds weird, but her nerves are actually really fun to watch. She’s handling it really well, showing some great leadership, and is just doing an all around great job,” Hagg said.

Matthew performed despite her nerves and, according to other cast members, Matthew “nailed it.” This was evident in sales as well, considering the show ran from Nov. 12-15 and was a sellout each and every night.