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The Yellow Brick Road Takes a Student to College

The Young People’s Center for Creative Arts (YPCCA ) are in rehearsal for the Wizard of Oz the first weekend of May.

After auditions for the production of the Wizard of Oz, at the beginning of February, the cast of 92, including 60 munchkins, started rehearsals. Patch recently visited one of the rehearsals.

YPCCA , established in 1982 by sixth-grade teacher Mike Mansfield, who passed away in 1989, will be celebrating its 30th anniversary next year. The organization has given many aspiring student actors a way to get involved and see what they can do. Many stay in the organization for years.

Keith Cummings, who will be the Tin Man, has been involved with YPCCA for five years.

“The experiences with YPCCA are always good. I like being the Tin Man because it presents some challenges with costumes and dancing,” Cummings said.

Wizard of Oz is a fundraising show for the Mike and Adina Mansfield Memorial Scholarship. This scholarship is presented annually to an East Hampton High School senior who will major in theater or education. This year’s selection will be announced at the performances.

Jennifer Friday has been involved in youth theater and YPCCA since she was 12.

“Rachel [Mansfield] and I decided to change roles for this show. Usually Rachel is the director and I am the producer, but for this show we switched,” Friday said.

Rachel Mansfield, in addition to being the producer, is the choreographer for this production, which contains a lot of dancing.

Evan Royder, music director, has been playing the piano for 11 years.  He is a student at the Hartt School of Music in Hartford.

Kendra Dickinson, a certified elementary school teacher, is the Youth Director for this production and the YPCCA Jr. camp in the summer.

Even in rehearsals, the costumes are a delight with all the little munchkins in their finery, and harassing trees running around. Makes one anxious to see what the full performance will look like.

Performance times at East Hampton High School are 7 p.m. for May 5, 6, and  7, and 2 p.m. for May 8. All tickets are $10.

For more information, watch for the beautiful posters that are around East Hampton or check out the organization’s web site at ypcca.org.

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